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JPatisij of Blackburn, Counts of iancastet 







"Out of the old fieides, as men saithe, 
Cometh al this new come fro yere to yere, 
And out of old bookcs, in good faithe, 
Cometh al this new science that men iere." 
— Chaucer. 




















viii PREFACE. 

while the price of the book has not been raised, I do not grudge in the 
least, so long as I can indulge in the belief that the credit of thorough- 
ness will be accorded me by discriminating readers, and by experienced 
antiquaries who know what a Parish History ought to be and to comprehend. 

I have bestowed much space and expended an unusual amount of 
work upon the accounts of old native families of inferior social rank to 
the Manorial Lords, namely, to the smaller Freeholders, lesser Gentry 
and Yeomen, as well as to those of the Merchant class who have attained 
to local repute within the last century or so. My reason for inserting 
such sketches of families of our old yeomen and lesser gentry as can 
be made out by parish registers and public records, in conjunction 
with family papers and title-deeds, is the fact that the history of 
families is the history of estates in the case of the smaller as of the 
larger properties ; and to ignore the succession to the minor freeholds is 
to leave the memorials of many a rural township practically unretrieved. 
The total number of families and distinct branches of families genealo- 
gically noticed in this History is nearly 300. Of necessity, some of the 
more obscure descents have not been traced to the last survivor or in 
much detail ; but even in the slightest outline of a family story, clues 
may be afforded to readers, now or hereafter, who may have a personal 
interest in pursuing the traces of ancestral alliance, estate, and domicile. 
Ampler and more minute genealogies have been carefully worked out of 
all the more important and long-standing territorial families, who are 
both many and honourable in the history of this Parish. 

My final and very conscious obligation is to acknowledge the in- 
valuable help which I have received from some of the highest authorities 
in archaeology, genealogy, and general antiquities, and to offer my grateful 
thanks to those literary friends, generous as learned, who havethusgivenme 
the benefitof their extensive knowledge and large experience inauthorship. 
To William Langton, Esq., a veteran genealogist whose sheaved and 
garnered harvests of research have enriched so many publications of the 
Chetham Society, I am deeply beholden for the freest communication of 
exclusive information respecting the intricate descents of the important 
ancient families of Banastre, Langton, Hoghton, Cliderhou, Talbot, Os- 
baldeston, Shuttleworth, Holland, Southworth, and otheis. Mr. Lang- 
ton's name is the assurance of severe and scrupulous accuracy among 
antiquaries, and I am fortunate to have enlisted his most kindly 
interest in my work. From the Rev. Canon Raines, M.A., F.S.A. — 
both in references to his published works and in private communications 
of notes from his noble collection of Lancashire MSS. — I have derived 
an unreckoned number of interesting and authentic items bearing upon 
the ecclesiastical and civil annals of this parish. Mr. W. Angelo Wad- 


dington, of Burnley, besides various other kindnesses, has made specially 
for me a very pretty drawing of the old Manor-House of Martholme, 
after which the engraving was executed which is inserted in the volume. 
^Vm. Haworth, Esq., of Fence-in-Pendle, has supplied a mass of interest- 
ing particulars respecting the several families of Haworth seated in this 
parish, and other allied families. To J. E. Bailey, Esq., F.S.A., of 
Stretford ; J. P. Earwaker, Esq., F.S.A., of Withington ; Wm. Dobson, 
Esq., F.S. A., of Fuhvood ; Lt.-Col. Fishwick, F.S.A., of Carr Hill, Roch- 
dale ; and Wm. Gourlay, Esq., of Blackburn, I owe the gift of valuable 
items scattered through the work. My friend, AVm. Thomas Ashton, 
P^sq., of Ashdale, Darwen, has helped me heartily and liberally in the 
preparation of my account of that important town and township. Froim 
John Walmesley, Esq., of Totnes ; Edgar S. Holland, Esq., of i.iverpool ; 
Rev. C. B. Norcliffe, of York ; Rev. M. Hedley, M.A., Vicar of Langho ; 
Thomas Woodcock, F^sq., of Haslingden ; Robert Hubberstey, Esq., of 
Samlesbury ; Mr. D. Geddes, Librarian of Blackburn Free Library ; and 
Mr. H. Stevenson, junr., of Haslingden, I have had sundry communica- 
tions which have been utilised in the accounts of families, churches, &c., 
in the different townships, and hereby express my thanks for the same. 

No small proportion of the original materials employed in the com- 
])osition of this history has been secured to me by the favour of the 
Vicar of Blackburn, the Venerable Archdeacon Birch, who from the 
first has given me the utmost facilities for repeated reference to the 
Parish Registers, and for the transcription of a large number of docu- 
ments relating to the history of the Parish Church of Blackburn with its 
dependent Chapels, and of the Rectory and Vicarage of Blackburn. But 
for this enlightened liberality of Archdeacon Birch, an indispensable 
branch of Parish History must have been left comparatively imperfect, 
which I have thereby been enabled to fill from those voluminous 
sources — the Coucher Books at the Vicarage. In the annals of the 
Blackburn Grammar School, I have in like manner been obliged by A. 
L Robinson, Esq., Clerk to the Governors, with the free use of the 
Manuscript Records of the Foundation, covering three centuries, 
hitherto entirely unnoticed. 

My learned neighbour, whom I esteem it a privilege to call my 
firiend, the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart, LL.D., has with characteristic 
generosity given me the use of his fine library of the old literature and 
the benefit of his literary counsel and practical aid in the preparation of 
my pages. 

From William Harrison, Esq., F.S. A., of Samlesbury Hall, I have 
received many valuable suggestions, and materials from the muniment- 
chest of the Samlesbury manor-estate ; and have to thank that gentleman 


also for the use of his papers concerning the Samlesbury Charities, and 
of the engraved blocks of Samlesbury Church and Lower Hall, &c.; and 
for his permission to copy by autot)rpe the beautiful plate of the exterior 
of Samlesbury Hall prepared for the folio History of Samlesbury Hall 
privately printed for Mr. Harrison. Jonathan Peel, Esq., of Knowlmere 
Manor, has favoured me with notes from his extensive manuscript collec- 
tions for the family history of the Peels which has just been printed 
privately in a neat volume. Colonel Butler-Bowdon, of Pleasington 
Hall, courteously lent me two large MS. volumes in his possession re- 
lating to the descents of the families of Butler and Bowdon and to the 
manor-estate of Pleasington. Alderman John Pickop, of Blackburn, 
placed at my use a large and useful series of deeds of his family estate 
in Livesey and Tockholes. Messrs. Edward and Joseph Dugdale kindly 
allowed me to make extracts from the deeds of their estates of Oxen- 
dale and Studlehurst in Osbaldeston. 

I have cause to lament the decease, before my work had reached 
its close, of several gentlemen who had manifested a friendly interest in 
its progress. The late Sir James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., gave 
me the kindest encouragement and assistance in various ways, and com- 
mended my work in influential quarters. Sir Henry de Hoghton, Bart., 
of Hoghton Tower, who died in December last, had honoured me by 
the expression of his desire to see this History, in which the ancient 
family of Hoghton occupies an eminent place, and of his confidence 
that the work would be competently done. My familiar friend the late 
Alderman T. T. Wilkinson, F.R.A.S., of Burnley, died soon after the 
work of printing this volume had begun, the preparation of which he 
had often urged me to undertake, and by his decease I am deprived of 
the pleasure of placing the result of my toil in the hands of an able and 
experienced Lancashire antiquary — a native of this Parish. 

I cannot refrain from placing on record my indebtedness to George 
Toulmin, Esq., proprietor of The Preston Guardian, whose friendly 
promptings did much in the outset to stimulate my adventure upon the 
somewhat formidable undertaking of producing this volume, and whose 
buisness sagacity and technical knowledge have been brought to bear in 
the printing of the work. Mr. Toulmin's sustained and liberal efforts to 
promote the illustration of local history in the columns of The Guardian 
have received due recognition by men of learning and research in Lanca- 

In conclusion, whilst bespeaking, as I trust I may, a not ungenerous 
reception of my book by those whose judgment will be held authorita- 
tive, let me confess I cannot suppose that much of its subject-matter 
will appear of great import to readers who have no personal nor family 


association with this part of the country. He who writes local histor)- 
is aware that on the wide field of a nation's historical literature his work 
must occupy an obscure nook ; and that details which may give it a 
special interest on the spot, will be passed by as paltry and tedious by 
distant critics. Except, perhaps, in certain particulars of the archseolog)- 
of the district ; in the narrative of local transactions of the great Civil 
War, including important battles ; in memorials of men of public fame 
sprung from the Parish ; and in illustrations of early domestic architec- 
ture in several of our fine old halls and mansions, I do not claim a 
more than provincial usefulness for the product of my labour. Albeit it 
has been settled by a consensus of high literary authorities that full and 
careful Parish Histories should be written, as tributary streams to the 
main current of the national history. If, then, this volume should be 
accepted as a fair type of the needful local record, my expectation will 
be fully satisfied. 

Blackburn, August, 1877. 



44 line 2 : for "Narman" read "Norman." 
158 line 19 : for "disotdered" read "disordered." 

200 line 16 : the initials " W H M " stand for " William and Mary Harwootl. " 
213 line 4 from bottom : for " 1698" read " 1693." 
261 line 14 from bottom : add that Myles Aspinall, gent., who married in 1763, died, 

aged 80, Sept. 11, 1799, and was father of John Aspinall, born in 1757, died 

Feb. 27, 1833, whose son, Lawrence Aspinall, born in 1791, died May 11, 1840. 
269 line 13 from bottom : for "Nov. 9, 1645," read "1615." 
292 bottom line (note) : for " Little Harwood " read " Mellor. " 
335 line 13 : for "Lang " read "Lacy." 

349 line 5 ; for " 1791, ceased 1787" read " 1787, ceased 1791." 
362 line 5 : for "June i8th " read "June 25th." 
369 line 9 : for " 1865 " read " 1875." 

374 line 12 from bottom : for "Feb. Sth, 1875 " read " 1874." 

376 line 6 from bottom, col. 2 : for " John Dean, Esq.," read "T. H. Pickup, Esq." 
382 line 21 : for " Markland " read " Martland." 
392 line 15 from bottom : after " Rev. W. Higgin " add "D.D., afterwards Bishop 

of Derry." 
397 line 19 : Peter Haworth, second son of Thomas, had issue, Thomas, of London, 

apothecary ; John, of Bristol ; Hugh ; and Richard of Chancery Lane, London, 


403 line 4 : after "Richard " add "bapt. Dec. 29, 1767." 

404 line 1 1 from bottom : Alice Sudell, who married Joseph Hankinson, was daughter 
of John Sudell who died in 1733, not of the John who died in 1785. 

406 Note: in this epitaph for "Pretate" read "Pietate," for "prascipise" read 

"prascipue," and for "indentus" read "intentus. " 
411 line 9 from bottom : for " 565-6" read " 365-6." 
433 line 26 : for " died before 1570 " read " was buried Sept. 9, 1564." 
433 line 33 : for "before 1586" read "Oct. 23, 1580." 

447 line 8 from bottom : after " Cunliffe " add " He was buried Nov. 2, 1594." 
469 line 18 : after " Ryvington " add " His son and heir, John Bradshaw, was aged 

22 years. " 
469 line 15 from bottom: after "rent" add "derived from his mother, Anne, 

daughter and heir of John de Ardern, lord of Nether Darwen." 
479 line 19 from bottom : for " Thomas" read "John." 
482 line 12 from bottom: for "no" read "not." 
510 line 12 : for " 1832 " read " 1852." 

5 10 line 3 from bottom : for "died about the year 1627 " read " buried April 18, 1628. " 
538 line 9 : for " the land meadow " read " the low meadow." 
572 line II from bottom : for "All Soulue " read "All Soulne." 
576 line 15 : for " 1693-4" read " 1694." 
722 line 3 from bottom : for " with rental " read " with a rental." 



Preface ----- -•.... vii-xi 

List of Illustrations ------- xv-xvi 


Chapter I. Roman and Saxon Periods . - - 1-43 

II. Medi/Eval Period 44-59 

III. Tudor Period 60-83 

IV. Stuart Period 84-190 

V. Modern Period - 191-244 


Chapter I. Township and Town of Blackburn - - 245-412 

11. Township of Balderstone - - - - 413-424 

III. Township of Billington - - - - 425-456 

IV. Township of Clayton-in-le-Dale - - 457-461 
V. Township of Cuerdale - . . . 462-465 

VI. Towi^sHip of Nether Darwen - -' - 466-487 

VII. Township of Over Darwen - - - 488-528 


Chap. YIII. Township of Great Harwood - - - 529-555 

IX. Township of Little Harwood - - - 556-563 

X. Township of Livesey ----- 564-586 

XI. Townships of Mellor-cum-Eccleshbll - 587-599 

XII. Township of Osbaldeston - - - - 600-611 

XIII. Township of Pleasington - - - - 612-626 

XIV. Township of Ramsgreave - - - - 627-630 
XV. Township of Rishton ----- 631-643 

XVI. Township of Salesbury . - . - 644-656 

XVII. Township of Samlesbury - - - - 657-680 

XVIII. Township of Tockholes - - - - 681-704 

XIX. Township of Walton-in-le-Dale- - - 705-744 

XX. Townships of Wilpshire-cum-Dinkley - 745-754 

XXI. Township of Witton 755-760 

XXII. Township of Yate-cum-Pickup-Bank - - 761-765 

Appendix - 766-772 

Indfjc ----------- 773-784 


Portrait OF Rev. Robert Bolton, B.D., - - to face title-page 

Engraved on steel by Mr. W. J. Alais from the old plate-portrait in the last Work of Bolton 
(1632). (See the Memoir, page 265.) 

Roman Sepulchral Sculptured Slab, found near 

Ribchester ------- to face page ig 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from Photographs by Mr. John Geddes. 

Romano-British Cinerary Urn and Incense-Cup, 

found at Darwen ------ to face page 24 

Saxon Ring and Armlets, found at Cuerdale - - to face page 40 

Peel Fold, ancient seat of the Peel Family - - to face page 221 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Frankland. 

Blackburn Old Parish Church - . . to face page 301 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Drawing by the late Rev. S. J. Allen. 

Blackburn Town Hall - - . - to face page 377 

Blackburn Corporation Park - - - - to face page 318 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Drawing by Mr. Langton. 

Blackburn Free Library and Museum - - to face page 380 
Hacking Hall, Billington ----- to face page 43J 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Frankland. 

Ancient Sculptured Corbel at Elkar, Billington - to face page 446 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph taken for Rev. M. Medley, M.A., 
Vicar of Langho. (The arms on the shield are those of Abbot John Paslew.) 

Langho Parochial Chapel, Billington - - to face page 448 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Geddes. 

Highercroft House, Lower Danven - - - to face page 473 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Frankland. 

Paper Works of Messrs. Hilton at Darwen in 1843 to face page 4g2 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from an Engraving in " Bradshaw's Journal " (1842). 


Belgrave Congregational Meeting-House, Danven to face page S^S 

Engraving lent by Rev. James Macdougall. 

Martholme, Manor-house of Great Harwood - to face page s 3^ 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Drawing made specially for this Work by Mr. 
William Angelo Waddington. 

Great Harwood Church ----- to face page 55 r 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph. 

Sir Edward Osbaldeston, Knt. - - - - to face page 604 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from an Engra\-ing in Pennant's " Tour from Downing to 

Alston Moor." 

Inscribed Lintel at Osbaldeston Hall - - - - page 608 
Pleasington Old Hall ----- to face page 621 

Engraved by Mr Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Erankland. 

Samlesbury Old Hall ----- to face page 664 

Reduced by autotype from the Engraving in the " History of Saiwlesbury Hall" (folio). 

Lower Hall, Samlesbury ----- to face page dyr 

Engraving from the " History of Samlesbury Hall," lent by Wm. Harrison, Esq., F.S.A. 

Samlesbury Parochial Chapel - - - - to face page 676 

Engraving from the " History of Samlesbury Hall," lent by Wm. Harrison, Esq., F.S.A. 

SouthWorth Arms and Crest in Samlesbury Cliapel to face page 676 

Engraving from the " History of Samlesbury Hall," lent by Wm. Harrison,. E.'.q., F.S.A. 

Old Nonconformist Meeting-House, Tockholes to face page 704 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Frankland. 

Western Gateway, Hoghton Tower - - - to face page 723 

Engraved by Mr. Robert Langton from a Photograph by Mr. John Geddes. 

Dinkley Hall ------- to face page 746 

Engraved by Mr. Robert La-ngton from a Photograph by Mr. John Gedde*. 


To THE Large-paper Impression. 
(Arranged Alphabeiically.) 

Abraham, John, Esq., Grassendale Fark, 

Abram, George G., Esq. Wilpshire. 
Abram, Masters Edmund William and 

Gilbert Percy, Blackburn 
Ainsworth, Thomas, Esq., Revidge Fold, 

Blackburn (three copies) 
Ainsworth, T. S., Esq., Showley Fold, 

Ainsworth, Thomas, Esq. , M. A. , Blackburn 

Grammar School. 
Ainsworth, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Ainsworth, Wm., Esq., Blackburn 
Akeroyd, James, Esq., Preston 
Almond, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Almond, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Almond, Wm., Esq., Blackburn 
Amos, Francis, Esq. , Burnley 
Armistead, James Fisher, Esq., J. P., Cob 

Wall House, Blackburn 
Arthur, James, E., Esq., Blackburn 
Ashburn, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Ashton, Wm. Thomas, Esq., Ashdale, Dar- 

wen (three copies and three small paper) 
Ashworth, Edmund, Esq., J. P., Egerton 

Hall, near Bolton 
Aspden, Richard, Esq., Blackburn 
Aspden, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 

Backhouse, T. J., Esq., York Cliff, Billington 
Bacup Co-operative Society's Library 
Barker, H. H., Esq., Blackburn 
Baron, Wm., Esq., Blackburn 
Baron, Thomas, Esq. , Blackburn 
Beads, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Beardsell, Rev. George,_ Preston 
Beardsworth, James, Esq. , Blackburn 
Bertwistle, James, Esq. , Wilpshire 
Birch, Ven. Edward, M.A., Archdeacon and 
Vicar of Blackburn 

Birch, Herbert, Esq., Blackburn 
Birtwistle, Bradshaw, Esq., Accrington 
Blackburn Free Public Library (two copies) 
Bland, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Bleasdell, Rev. John, B.A., Ashton-under- 

Bolton, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Bone, J. W., Esq., B.A., F.S. A., London 
Bowker, Henry S., Esq., Blackburn 
Bowker, J., Esq., Preston 
Boyle, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Brennand, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Bretherick, J. W., Esq., Darwen 
Bretherton, William, Esq., J.P., Runshaw 

Hall, Leyland 
Brierley, Joseph, Esq., C.E., Blackburn 
Briggs, James, Esq., J. P., Beardwood 
Briggs, Wm. Edward, Esq., M. P., Harrow 
Brogden, James, Esq. , Blackburn 
Buckley, R.B., Esq., Blackburn 
Burton, Alfred, Esq., Manchester 
Bury, A. S., Esq., J. P., Blackburn 
Bury, Thomas, Esq., J. P., Blackburn (Mayor 

of Blackburn, 1871-2) 
Bury, John Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Bury, Thomis, Esq., Blackburn 
Butler- Bowdon, Lt.-Col., J. P., Pleasington 

Butterfield, Wm., Esq., Blackburn 

Campbell, David, Esq., Blackburn 
Cartrtiell, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Catterall, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Cavendish, Hon. Lord Edward, Devonshire 

House, London 
Chew, Thomas H., Esq., Manchester 
Chew, W. L., Esq., Manchester 
Clough, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Clough, John, Esq., Blackburn 


Cocks, Rev. Horrocks, London 
Coddington, William, Esq., J. P., Wycoller, 

Blackburn (Mayor of Blackburn 1874-5) 

(two copies) 

Coddington, Richard Dudley, Esq., Black- 

Coddington, Albert, Esq., Blackburn 
Coddington, Frank, Esq., Blackburn 
CoUinson, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Cornish, J. E., Esq., Manchester 
Counsell, William, Esq., Borough Treasurer, 

Crankshaw, Samuel, Esq., Manchester 
Craven, Richard, Esq., Blackburn 
Crossley, Richard, Esq,, Blackburn 

Darley, Charles, Esq., Blackburn 

Darwen Free Library (per gift of Wm. Snape, 

Esq., J. P.) 
Denham, Robert, Esq., Blackburn 
Derby, Rt. Hon. the Earl of, Knowsley 
Dickinson, James, Esq., J. P., Blackburn 
Dickinson, Aspin P., Esq., Blackburn 
Ditchfield, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Dobson, William, Esq., F.S.A., Fulwood 
Dodgson, R. B. Esq., J. P., Beardwood 
Downing, William, Esq., Birmingham 
Duckworth, Nicholas, Esq., Accrington 
Dugdale, Adam, Esq., J. P., Griffin Lodge, 


Dugdale, Edward, Esq., J. P., Blackburn 
Dugdale, Joseph, Esq., Blackburn 
Dugdale, Richard S., Esq., Halifax 
Dunbar, Robert, Esq., M.D., Blackburn 

Earwaker, J. P., Esq., M. A., F.S.A., With- 

Eastwood, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Eatough, Joseph, Esq., Blackburn 
Eccles, J., Esq., B. A., Kensington, London 
Eccles, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Embley, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Evans, Howard, Esq., Barrow-in-Furness 
Entwistle, R. S , Esq., Darwen 

Falconer, His Honour the Judge, Usk, 

Earn worth, R. D., Esq., Blackburn 
Famworth, Wm., Esq., Blackburn 
Fish, John, Esq., J. P., Livesey House, 

Fish, Miss Marian, Darwen 
Fishwick, Lt.-CoI. H., J.P., F.S.A., Carr 

Hill, Rochdale 

Fletcher, Thomas, Esq., Preston 
Foster, Joseph, Esq., London 
Fowler, Messrs. E. and F., Blackburn 
Frankland, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Eraser, Rt. Rev. James, D.D., Lord Bishop 
of Manchester 

Gaine, W. E. L., Esq., Town Clerk of 

Geddes, David, Esq. , Blackburn Free Library 
Gent, George, Esq., Blackburn 
Gibson, J. Harris, Esq., Liverpool 
Gourlay, William, Esq., Blackburn (and one 

small paper) 
Graham, H. G. Esq., Blackburn 
Green, George, Esq., Blackburn 
Greenhalgh, J. D., Esq., Bolton 
Gregson, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Gregson, William, Esq., Tockholes 
Grime, Dr. H. A., J. P., Blackburn 
Grosart, Rev. A. B. , LL. D. , Blackburn 

Hamer, Edwin, Esq., Blackburn 
Hand, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Hargreaves, John, Esq., Rock Ferry, 

Harrison, Joseph, Esq., J. P., Galligreaves 

House, Blackburn 
Harrison, William, Esq., J. P., F.S.A., 

Samlesbury Hall 
Harrison, Henry, Esq., Stanley House, 

Harrison, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Harrison, S. J., Esq., Blackburn 
Hartington, Most Hon. the Marquis of, 

M. P., Devonshire House, London 
Harwood, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Hasler, John, Esq., Chorley 
Hasler, Wm., Esq., Barrow-in-Fumess 
Haworth, William, Esq., Fence-in-Pendle 

(two copies) 
Haworth, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Haydock, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Hayhurst, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Haythornethwaite, Wm., Esq., Cherry Tree, 

Hedley, Rev. M., M.A., the Vicarage, 

Heginbotham, Henry, Esq., M,D., Millgate 

House, Stockport 
Hermon, Edward, Esq., M.P., Preston 
Hey worth, Eli, Esq., J. P., Blackburn 
Hick, John, Esq., M.P., Mitton Hall 
Higham, Eli, Esq., Accrington 
Higson, Thomas, Esq., J. P., Blackburn 


Hindle, Dr., Darwen 

Hindle, F. J., Esq., Darwen 

Hindle, John, Esq., Blackburn 

Hoghton, Sir Heniy De (the late), Bart., 

Hoghton Tower {two copies) 
Holland, Edgar S., Esq., Liverpool (and 

live small paper copies) 
Holt, James Maden, Esq., M.P., Stubby 

Lee, Bacup 
Holt, Robert, Esq., Manchester (two copies) 
Hoole, William, Esq., J.P., HoUoway, 

London (Mayor of Blackburn, 1855-6) 
Hope, Mrs. J. C, Lower Broughton 
Hopwood, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Hornby, Wm. Henry, Esq., Junr., Mayor of 

Blackburn, 1876-7 (three copies) 
Hubberstey, Robert, Esq., Samlesbury 
Hulton, VV. A., Esq., J. P., Hurst Grange, 

Huntington, James, Esq., J. P., Astley Bank, 

Hutchinson, Robt. Hopwood, Esq., J. P., 

Tenter House, Rochdale (Mayor of 

Blackburn, 1861-2) 
Ingham, John, Esq., Whalley 

Jackson, R. Raynsford, Esq., J. P., The 

Grange, Clayton-in-le-Dale 
Jepson, Jabez, Esq., Darwen 
Jepson, M. T., Esq., Darwen 
Johnson, J. C, Esq., Blackburn 
Johnston, Thomas, Esq. (the late), Houghton 

near Carlisle 

Kay, James, Esq. , Blackburn 
Kay-Shuttleworth, Sir James P., Bart, (the 

late), Barbon Manor 
Kay-Shuttleworth, Sir Ughtred James, Bart., 

Gawthorpe Hall 
Kenyon, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Kitcher, Henry, Esq., Blackburn 

Langton, William, Esq. , Docklands, Ingate- 

stone, Essex (and one small paper) 
Leaver, James, Esq., junior, Blackburn 
Lewis, James, Esq., J. P., Blackburn 
Lewis, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Leyland, John, Esq., The Grange, Hindley 
Liverpool Library, Lyceum 
Liverpool Public Free Library 
Livesey, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Longworth, Solomon, Esq., Clerl^ Hill, 

Macdougall, Rev. James, Darwen 

Manchester Public Free Library 
Marton, Captain G.B., J. P., Capemwray 
Meadows, Thomas, Esq., Mill Hill, Livesey 
McCave, W. H., Esq., Blackburn 
McOwen, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Meller, W. C, Esq., Blackburn 

Monk, Esq., Blackburn 

Moore, James, Esq., Darwen 
Neilson, Jonathan, Esq., Blackburn 
Nichols, S. A., Esq., Darwen 

Osbaldeston, John, Esq., Fam worth 

Parkinson, J. R., Esq., Blackburn 
Parkinson, Wm., Esq., Mill Hill, Livesey 
Parkinson, P. R., Esq., Blackburn 
Peel, Jonathan, Esq., J. P., Knowlmere 

Pickop, John, Esq. , J. P. , Blackburn (Mayor 

of Blackburn, 1873-4) 
Pilkington, James, Esq., J. P., Swinithwaite 

Hall, Bedale 
Pilling, R. C, Esq., Blackburn 
Platts, H. G., Esq., Blackburn 
Pomfret, Thomas, Esq. , Blackburn 
Porter, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Purbrick, Rev. E., S.J., Stonyhurst College 

Richards, John, Esq. , Blackburn 

Rigby, John, Esq. , Kirkham 

Riley, George, Esq., Magistrates' Clerk, 

Roberts, William, Esq., Hey wood Hall 
Robinson, Arthur Ingram, Esq., Blackburn 
Rochdale Public Free Library 
Rylands, J. Paul, Esq., F.S.A., Highfields, 

Thelwall, near Warrington 
Rylands, W. H., Esq., Highfields, Thelwall 

Salford Public Free Library 
Savage, Tobias, Esq., Blackburn 
Scott, T. Livesey, Esq., Hey wood 
Shackleton, Richard, Esq., J. P., Withnell 

Sefton, James, Esq., Blackburn 
Sharpies, Henry, Esq., Blackburn 
Shaw, Henry, Esq., J. P., Buxton 
Shorrock, Eccles, Esq., J. P., Low Hill 

House, Darwen 
Shorrock, Christopher, Esq. , Lower Darwen 
Shott, Wm., Esq., Manchester (two copies) 
Siddall, Samuel, Esq., Blackburn 
Skaife, John, Esq., M.D., Blackburn 


Slater, Jesse, Esq., Blackburn 

Slater, Thomas, Esq., Mill Hill, Livesey 

Smith, John, Esq., Bank House, Blackburn 

(Mayor of Blackburn 1867-9) 
Smith, J. Stores, Esq., Chesterfield 
Snape, Wm. Esq., J. P., Lynwood, Lower 

Spedding, WilUiam, Esq., Chorley 
Spenser, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Starkie, Major Le Gendre Nicholas, J. P., 

Stephen, James, Esq., Blackburn (and one 

small paper) 
Stephenson, Wm. H., Esq., M.D., Blackburn 
Stirrup, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Stott, Rev. J. McEwan, M.A., Blackburn 

Tattersall, John, Esq., Billinge View, Black- 
Taylor, William, Esq., Blackburn 
Thompson, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Thwaites, Daniel, Esq., M.P., Billinge Scar 
Tiplady, W.C, Esq., Blackburn 
Tomlinson, John, Esq. , Blackburn 
Tomlinson, Thomas, Esq., Blackburn 
Toulmin, George, Esq., The Colonade, 

Toulmin, John, Esq., Bushell Place, Preston 
Townend, John, Esq., Shadsworth Hall, 
Blackburn (two copies) 

Varley, W. S., Esq., Blackburn 

Veevers, Richard, Esq., Preston 

Waddington, Wm. Angelo, Esq., Burnley 

Walker, John, Esq., Blackburn 

Walmsley, Captain, Hoghton 

Walmsley, L. S., Esq., Blackburn 

Walsh, Jabez, Esq., Blackburn 

Walsh, William, Esq., Blackburn 

Ward, Henry, Esq., The Oaks, Clayton-in- 

Watson, Joseph, Esq., Blackburn 
Weild, George, Esq., Lower Bank Academy, 

Westall, Robert, Esq., Shadsworth, Black- 
Whalley, C. W., Esq., Blackburn 
Whalley, John, Esq., Blackburn 
Whalley, Richard, Esq., Cherry Tree, 

Whewell, J., Esq., Darwen 
Whittaker, Robert, Esq., Blackburn 
Wilding, Richard, Esq., Blackburn 
Wilkinson, William, Esq., Dunnow, Slaid- 

Wolstenholme, R., Esq., Blackburn 
Wood, Richard, Esq., Whalley Range, 

Woodcock, Thomas, Esq., Haslingden (two 

Woodcock,' James, Esq., Blackburn 

Yates, Thomas, Esq., Burnley 




Name — Physical Features — Aboriginal Condition — Roman Conquest and Occupation — Roman Roads 
and Stations— Ribchester—Walton-in-ie-Dale — Romano-British Tumulus at Whitehall, Over 
Darwen — Withdrawal of Roman Garrisons— Advent of Saxons — Saxon Wars — Battle of Billan- 
gahoh — Conflicts of Saxons and Danes — Battle of Brunanburh — Danish Treasure discovered at 
Cuerdale — Saxon Settlements in the Parish, and local Nomenclature. 

BLACKBURN is the name borne since Saxon times by one of the 
chief territorial divisions of Lancashire, as well as by a parochial 
subdivision of that division and by a town or township within the parish 
so named. It has been matter for curious but fruitless speculation how 
the descriptive designation of one of the smallest of the streams that 
water this extensive tract^the Blake-bume — should have come to be 
adopted originally as the appellation of a shire — i.e. Blakebumeshyre, — 
afterwards of the Hundred, in addition to its appropriation as the name 
of a large parish of many townships constituted within the Hundred, 
and naturally as that of the particular township through which the stream 
runs in its short course of two or three miles. Had the town of Black- 
bum been anciently a central fortified place of Blackbumshire, — the 
seat of the chief lord of the district, — the comprehensive use of the 
name would be more explicable ; but this is not the case. Blackburn 
was not primitively either the civil or ecclesiastical centre of the 
Hundred ; it was not even a corporate town, as Clitheroe, the focus of 



Norman authority in East-Lancashire, or Preston, the capital of Amoun- 
demess ; and it was not until a very modem date and through the esta- 
blishment of manufactures within it, that the town of Blackburn became 
distinguished in the district by its populousness and commercial supre- 

It is intended to limit the present historical survey to that portion 
of Blackburn Hundred forming the ancient Parish of Blackburn. This 
Parish, at an early period not exactly ascertained, was separated from 
the older parish of Whalley, as is mentioned in an ancient document 
hereafter to be referred to. 

The Parish of Blackburn is estimated to contain 43,569 statute 
acres. Its physical geography is comprised chiefly in the northern slopes 
of two ranges of hills which trend N.E. and S.W. across this portion of 
Lancashire, and the valley Ijdng between these ranges. The series of 
hills occupying the mid-portion of the parish is that which commences 
with the rock of Hoghton and continues in the successive ridges of 
Billinge Hill, Revidge Heights, Wilpshire Moor, and Billington Moor. 
Mellor Moor and Ramsgreave Heights form a spur of the range. South- 
ward of the Parish, forming its bound and the water-shed of Mid- 
Lancashire, extend lofty moorlands, the largest masses of which are 
Tockholes Moor, Darwen Moor, and Cranberry Moss. Cartridge Hill, 
the westerly summit of these moors, rises 1,316 feet above the sea-level. 
Projecting northwards from this range are the hills of lower altitude 
between the townships of Over Darwen, Livesey and Tockholes, and, 
more to the east, a ridge descending gradually from Blacksnape Heights 
through Hoddlesden to Lower Darvven and Blackburn. These hills 
surround the upper portion of the valley of the Darwen. The Ribble is 
the boundary of the Parish on the north side, from end to end ; and the 
Calder, a main affluent of the Ribble, is with its tributary the Hyndburn 
the parish limit on the east. The river Dar^ven may be said to belong 
to the parish through its entire course. Its source is among the swampy 
wastes of Cranberry Moss, on the line of the division between Salford 
and Blackburn Hundreds. It descends rapidly through the town of 
Over Darwen, is joined at Dob Meadows by the Sunnyhurst brook, 
passes through Lower, Darwen township, and thus reaches the township 
of Blackburn, of which it is the boundary to the west. At Feniscliffe 
bridge, in Witton Park, the Darwen is replenished by the Blakewater, a 
stream which descends from the hills of Oswaldtwistle, combines to the 
east of Blackburn with the Little Harwood brook, and flows through the 
midst of the townships of Blackburn and Witton until it merges into the 
Darwen. Another subsidiary stream is the Roddlesworth, which springs 
on the high ground above HoUinshead Hall, flows northward between 


the townships of Tockholes and Wheelton, and, until it mingles with the 
Darwen, divides the Hundreds of Blackburn and Leyland. Its point of 
junction is the grounds of Feniscowles Hall. Flowing onwards through 
the ravine beneath Hoghton Tower, the Darwen is the boundary of the 
Parish until the line branches off to embrace the township of Walton- 
le-Dale on the left bank of the Darwen, which discharges itself into the 
Ribble near Walton bridge. 

No historic account of this or any other part of Britain exists of an 
older date than the first Roman invasion. Accordingly, obscurity rests 
upon the movements and settlements of the native races prior to that 
period. The Romans, on their advent, found the northern provinces of 
the country peopled by various tribes of Celtic extraction ; and of these 
the great tribe of the Brigantes was reputed to be the most powerful. 
The realm of the Brigantes was then, and had probably been for some 
centuries, the belt of territory now embraced in the counties of Lanca- 
shire, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmoreland and Durham. The Roman 
historians, in chronicling the spread of the Roman power in Britain, 
became also the earliest annalists of a land destined one day to eclipse 
their own in all the elements of national greatness. 

When the civilisation of Greece was passing into senility, and even 
that of Rome had attained its zenith, our island was still the hunting-ground 
of savages. The face of the land was for the most part covered with 
morass and forest, through which wandered naked men, who abhorred the 
settled habits of systematic husbandry. The personal aspect of the 
Brigantes and the British tribes generally is described by Strabo and 
Tacitus. The Teutonic and Scandinavian types were found in the natives 
of Southern England and Eastern Scotland ; but in the North of England 
the inhabitants had the swarthy visage and black curly hair of the 
Celtic variety of mankind. In stature, Strabo says, the Britons were 
taller than the Gauls, but their limbs hung loosely, and their bodies were 
not so symmetrically formed. The stalwart Brigantes of Lancashire, and 
the intrepid Silures and Ordovices of Wales, were among the best types 
of the nomadic races which filled the borders of Britain at the epoch 
when our country emerges from the Cimmerian shadow oi a. terra incognita, 
and first begins to figure in the written story of human development. 

Dwelling, as they did, in rude and temporary habitations, and 
having no towns of any note, it is not strange that the aborigines of this 
country should have left few enduring marks behind them. The sole 
vestiges of that period of British antiquity that Time still spares are the 
ranges of massive stones which constituted their temples, and the earth- 
mounds of their burial places. 

Very slight traces of the ancient language of Britain survive in this 


locality. The geographical nomenclature of East Lancashire is almost 
wholly Saxon. In the names of two or three of our hills and streams 
the Celtic element is, however, recognised, as in that of our highest moun- 
tain, Pendle (formerly Penhull), in which the first syllable is Celtic. Ribble, 
Calder, Darwen, Irwell, the appellations of our principal rivers, possibly 
are of British origin. Rigodumim, the ancient name of Ribchester, is said 
also to be British, — that being one of the few urban settlements or 
permanent fortresses of the Brigantes before the Roman appropriation 
which raised it to the celebrity of a chief Roman station and city. 

The first invasion of England, by Julius Cssar, took place 55 years 
before Christ; but it was not until A.D. 78, that the Lancashire 
aborigines were made effectually to feel the force of martial Rome. In 
that year Agricola, the ablest general that ever commanded the 
Roman army of occupation in Britain, was despatched hither. Having 
pacified Wales during the winter, Agricola, in the spring of the year 79, 
made preparations to consummate the conquest of the country lying 
beyond the Mersey and the Humber. He concentrated at Deva 
(Chester) the largest Roman force that had ever operated in Britain, 
numbering, it is said, about 30,000 foot and 6,000 cavalry. He made a 
preliminary survey of the country he now proposed to occupy, and then, 
passing the Mersey, marched his army across the plains and mountains 
of South and East Lancashire, into Yorkshire. The native warriors 
offered what resistance they might in their desultory mode of fighting, 
but they could make no stand against the disciplined legionaries of 
Agricola, who at the end of a single year was master of all the fastnesses 
of the Brigantes. 


The slender testimony of history regarding the victories of the 
Romans and the acts of their generals, is to some extent supplemented 
by the mute but honest evidence afforded by the remains of the 
engineering works they undertook, and of the military camps and civil 
colonies they established. The Roman Roads of Britain exist to this 
day, after the lapse of eighteen centuries, as proofs of the thoroughness 
of the Roman conquest of the island. Lancashire presents abundant 
remains of these wonderful roads, and the Parish of Blackburn contains 
many interesting vestiges. Three of the four principal roads constructed 
by the Romans in Lancashire traversed some portion of the Parish : — 
I. The lower road from the south to Carlisle, intersected the township 
of Walton-in-le-Dale. 2. The road from Manchester to Overborough 
crossed the Parish at its broadest part. 3. The road from the sea to the 
interior, which formed the conmiunication between the " Sistuntian Port" 


(on the Wyre) and Ribchester, Ilkley-in-Wharfedale, Aldborough and 
York, enters Blackburn Parish at Ribchester, by a ford over the Ribble, 
and after traversing the townships of Salesbury, Dinkley, and Billington, 
crosses the Calder at Potter Ford, a Httle below Whalley Abbey. 
Besides the broad and solid Romans roads forming the great military 
routes, a number of vicinal or branch roads, of much simpler construc- 
tion, were used for communication between stations situated on parallel 
lines of main road. In Blackburn district some of these vicinal ways 
have been traced out. One such by-road proceeded along the vale of 
Calder by Whalley to Burnley, and through Cliviger over the mountains 
to Cambodunum (Slack). The late Rev. E. Sibson, in a paper 
on the Roman Roads of the Wigan district, speaks of a road of this 
kind which branched off eastward from Blackrod, "Street-fold and 
Water-street, near Rivington, and by White Hough, in Tockholes, 
to the small Roman station at Blackburn, near the new road to Preston." 
"This road is traced in the fields near Anglezark, and a tradition is still 
preserved among the inhabitants of that district, that this was the old 
road to Blackburn." ' 

The Roman military roads — the few great lines first constructed in 
a newly-entered territory, to quicken the march of the cohorts and the 
transport of material — were the most massive of their works in road- 
making. The plan of their construction was as follows : — Two deep 
furrows were cut parallel to each other, about twenty-one feet apart, and 
the subsoil between them was dug out until a solid surface was reached. 
This hollow was filled up with layers of small stones and gravel, in some 
instances mingled with lime, and hammered down to a state of great 
hardness. Upon the surface the road was paved with large pebbles 
brought from the beds of streams, or with squared flagstones carefully 
adjusted. The same road at different places is paved either with pebbles 
or flag-stones, whichever lay convenient. The public roads, built when 
the military roads were no longer equal to the commercial requirements 
of the Roman colonists, were usually about fourteen feet in width, and 
unpaved. The broad military roads were constructed with rigid geome- 
trical accuracy, being carried forward in straight lines, regardless of 
obstacles in the shape of bog-lands, steep gradients, or rough water- 
courses. No deviation from the line was permitted, except an angle 
might be struck at the summit of a hill, in order to preserve the high 
ground through the remainder of the route. In the inferior roads the 
straight line is less strictly kept, and the low courses of valleys are some- 
times followed. These characteristics enable us generally to determine 
to which of the varieties of construction any Roman road belongs. 

1 Hist. Lane, first edn., v. iii, p. 585. 


The Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester which bisected 
the Parish of Blackburn had apparently been a military road of the first 
importance. It was solidly underlaid with gravel and carefully paved ; 
it preserves the straight line throughout, and it keeps the high ground, 
commanding the country on either hand. Some Lancashire antiquaries 
insist that this was the veritable Tenth Iter of Antoninus ; others, 
influenced by the fact that Ribchester (Rigodunum) is not specified as 
upon that Iter, pronounce the road through Wigan and Walton to be 
the Tenth Iter — a road, judged by its existing remains, of inferior 
construction to the higher road. However this may be, the road which 
went through Blackburn parish and town was certainly one of the most 
useful of the military ways of the Romans in the North of England. 
It directly connected the two most renowned Roman stations in Western 
Brigantia, namely, Mamucium (Manchester) and Rigodunum (Ribchester). 
It enabled the Roman generals to penetrate the interior of the country, 
and to overawe the sullen barbarians who made the vast woods of East 
Lancashire their covert. It might well be that the construction of this 
indispensable road was one of the chief works of the indomitable 
Agricola in his second campaign (a.d. 79) ; and that throughout the 
summer thousands of hardy Roman warriors swarmed upon this moun- 
tain-track, some keeping guard on its highest summits, while the rest 
diligently laid the road under the direction of the imperial engineers. 

This road left Manchester at or near the line of the modern street 
called " Strangeways," and continued for some miles along the ground 
now traversed by the New Bury-road.' In the neighbourhood of Man- 
chester every trace of the ancient pavement has been obliterated, but its 
tradition is preserved in the name of a back-street upon the line in 
Higher Broughton. The route passes through the village of Prestwich, 
crosses the Irwell near Radcliffe Bridge, and proceeds about two miles 
to the west of Bury, where it abuts upon a lane which still bears the 
name of " Blackburn-street." Afterwards it runs by Tottington, Turton, 
and Edgeworth, over the highest part of a hill called Offiside, and enters 
the Parish of Blackburn a short distance to the south of the village of 
Blacksnape. The writer has at various times examined the line of the 
road from Blacksnape to Ribchester. Standing on the top of Black- 
snape Heights, where the weather-beaten cottages of the coal-miners 
straggle over the bare hill, a long stretch of the Roman route is visible 
both southwards and northwards. The present highway from Bury to 
Blackburn keeps very near to the ancient road for some miles until it 
approaches Blackburn. In the valleys the modern road breaks away 

1 See .in account of the road, with sketch-map of route, by John Just, in Memoirs of Manch. Lit. 
and Phil. Soc, v. vii (N.S). pp-1-21. 


here and there from the straight line, to ease the descent and ascent, but 
rejoins the Roman work where it approaches the summit of a ridge. 
Looking south from Blacksnape the road is seen running boldly over the 
brow of Offiside ; and in the opposite direction it pursues the high 
ground of Lower Darwen township, descends the Whinny Heights into 
the valley of the Blakewater, and again strikes the line on the tops 
of Revidge, of Ramsgreave, and of Longridge Fell in the far distance. 
The ordnance surveyors found that this road never swerved from the 
direct line, except by a slight angle at Blacksnape. The remains of the 
road itself are not easy of detection for a great portion of the distance. 
Wherever the modem road stands on the old military agger it is 
impossible that after the wear and tear and repairs of so many centuries 
any external traces of the original pavement should present themselves. 
In the neighbourhood of large populations, also, the constant disturbances 
of the surface have effaced such remains ; and, again, in parts of the 
route where the land has been repeatedly ploughed and drained, the 
pavements laid by Agricola's legionaries have been torn up and 
carted away by the farmer, with whom the interests of archaeology are 
naught to the effectual clearance of the land from stones. Accordingly, 
as a rule, the only spots at which complete and continuous portions 
of the Roman roads can now be distinguished are where their firm, rigid 
tracks cross unfrequented moorlands, and now and then on the surface 
of unbroken pasture-land, or where the old road has been utilised as an 
occupation-road upon the farms. In its descent from Blacksnape in the 
direction of Blackburn, the Roman line is identical with that of the 
highway for about half-a-mile, when the modem road bears a little to the 
left where it is intersected by the old bye-road from Hoddlesden to 
Darwen. At this point, under the wall at the comer at which the Roman 
road enters the field, are some signs of a hard pavement, but through the 
fields beyond a close inspection failed to detect any certain indication 
until the minous tenements at Harwood Fold are reached. There, at 
the comer of the field, remains on the exact line of the agger are exposed. 
On the descent of the hill towards the coal-pit the footway down the fields, 
precisely on the Roman line, is paved for some distance with thick flag- 
stones. The ground hereabouts, if carefully examined, could hardly fail 
to disclose evidences of Roman work. Passing the coal-pit on the left, 
the Roman road rejoins the present road, at the point known as the 
" Flash, " and thence it proceeds on nearly the same line, crossing the 
Eccleshill Brook a little to the right of the bridge, through the village of 
Blackamoor ; beyond it the present road once more bends to the left for 
its descent into Blackburn. The Roman road still kept its undeviating 
way, its direction being indicated by a tree standing in the middle of a 


field at Whinny Heights, a short distance to the west of the Union 
Workhouse. Crossing the Belthom road at Brandy House Brow, the 
Roman road drops over the scarp of the stone-quarry. No remains of 
the road have been noted where it crosses the town of Blackburn, but 
the direct course it took would lie over the hill of Lower Audley to Cicely 
Bridge, past the east end of the Railway Station, over the site of 
Button's Brewery, across the thoroughfares of Salford, Penny Street, and 
James Street. Thence, through the Brookhouse Fields, it ascended the 
hill, and rejoined the modem road at the Hole i'th' Wall Inn, Shire 
Brow. The Roman road then runs through the meadow on the left of 
the highway to Lane Ends, over the site of the School. Here the heights 
of Ramsgreave come in view, and the line of the Roman road is 
hit by a farm-house on the top of that hill. It crossed the intervening 
valley a little to the left of the farm-house of Higher Waves. In these 
fields the traces of the road are slight and unsatisfactory. But when 
the summit of Ramsgreave is passed, an interesting section of the agger is 
presented. A well-paved farm-road goes down from the farm-yard into 
the fields. From the top of this road, standing strictly on the line of 
the Roman way, the Ribble valley is seen spreading itself finely before 
the spectator. A little to the west, on the summit of Mellor Moor, are 
still to be seen the fosse and vallum of a small Roman camp of observa- 
tion. Ribchester, once the centre of Roman power in these parts, is well 
in view at the bottom of the extended valley, and lines of fences mark 
out the track of the road from where we stand to the Ribble bank opposite 
the station. As the background to Ribchester rises Longridge Fell, and 
the plain appearance of a lighter strip running across the dark sward of 
the Fell shows the continuation of this great road to the top of 
Longridge. The lane to which we have referred ends in a footpath, 
following which for about three hundred yards is come upon a palpable 
specimen of Roman road. For several yards the pavement lies bare 
and regular in the midst of the pasture, every stone lying where the 
Roman road-maker set it in the first century of the Christian era. The 
pebbles or boulders of which this pavement is composed are very 
similar in size to those which were used for the streets of our English 
towns before the general substitution of squared " setts." Beneath the 
paved surface is a hard bed of gravel, the depth of which could only 
be ascertained by hacking up a portion of the road. A little further on 
in these fields, before reaching the cottages, a second portion of the 
agger appears distinct above the ground. Again, near the gate at the 
end of the occupation road which runs forward from Midge Hall, another 
perfect example of the road is exposed to view. On reaching the 
farm-house called Har^vood Fold (the second homestead of that 

kdMAN kOADS. 5 

name which stands upon the road in this parish), once more appears 
an obvious specimen of the pavement at the margin of the meadow, 
just beyond the farm-yard. The vestiges here mentioned are but the 
results of superficial examinations ; — if arrangements could be made to 
cut across a segment of the road in the vicinity of these remains, useful 
information as to the dimensions and substratum of the road might be 
supplied. After leaving Harwood Fold, the agger crosses the Preston and 
Whalley turnpike some hundreds of yards to the east of the Royal Oak 
Inn, advances across the fields past Stubby-Lee House, and down 
the occupation-road towards Ribchester. On reaching the high bank of 
the Ribble, the road is for the first time diverted by a sharp angle and 
carried down to the ford of the river below Ribchester Bridge. 

The second road carried through a portion of the Parish by the 
Romans during their occupancy of the island, is that which extends 
from the Sistuntian Port to York. Near Ribchester this road crossed to 
the south bank of Ribble, and passed a short distance above Salesbury 
Hall. Mr. Just, who carefully surveyed the road, observes^ : — 

Fine continuous remains hence mark the course of the road, and the investigator 
can see the line before him now in bold elevations across the fields, or, still more 
marked, near farm houses and outbuildings, and not unfrequently in occupation roads, 
from such continuing along the Roman line for early and present advantage. 

From Salesbury the road advances into Dinkley, and then crosses Dink- 
ley Brook below Langho Chapel. It proceeds in a direct line behind 
Brockhole to Hacking, where it runs in the rear of the Hall, and had its 
ford over the Calder below the modem crossing-place at Potter's Ford. 
What seems to be a section of the agger is a very evident rib crossing 
the large field immediately to the south of Crow Wood, exactly on the 
line of road as marked by the ordnance surveyors. Beyond the Calder 
the route is through the Parish of Whalley to the Yorkshire border. 

The other Roman road to the North, through Wigan, Preston, and 
Lancaster, at Walton-in-le-Dale crosses an extremity of the Parish. Mr. 
Hardwick, who has made diligent search for Roman remains in Walton 
township, and was the first to demonstrate the existence there of a 
considerable Roman station, asserts that a " broad agger is still trace- 
able " southward from the Ribble through Walton village ; that " during 
the erection of Mr. Calvert's shed, which crosses its line," the workmen 
" came upon a compact mass of road material, so hard that a jjickaxe 
could scarcely penetrate it ;" and that " near Brownedge Chapel there 
appears still to exist a large fragment of the Roman highway, now used 
as a private road, but marked on the ordnance map as 'Mainway gate."" 

I Hist. Soc. Lane, and Ches. Papers, v. iii, p. 6. 2 lb. v. viii, p. 13B. 2 


Other traces of the causeway, both to the north of Ribble and to the 
south of Walton, authenticate this hne of road, and prove that the 
Romans possessed duphcate Hnes of road and stations throughout the 
length of the county. Whether the two great parallel roads were 
constructed simultaneously ; or, if not, which of the twain was first 
undertaken, is unknown ; but it has been suggested that the difficulties 
of the more elevated route over Blacksnape, Longridge, and 
Croasdale caused it, as the country became pacified, to be neglected for 
the level and less-exposed road through the plains of West Lancashire. 
The cross-road from Ribchester to Preston would supply a roundabout 
communication with Manchester, Lancaster, and the other Lancashire 
stations. In summer the highland road would be practicable and even 
pleasant, but during the gales and snows of winter even the inured 
Roman soldiery might be fain to seek a more sheltered path. 

It is not necessary here to extend the retrospect of the long period 
of the Roman occupation of Britain. That occupation endured, so far 
as this part of the island is concerned, for about 369 years, from the 
advance of Agricola, a.d. 79, to the final withdrawal of the Roman 
garrisons, about the year 448. The tranquillity of subjection established 
by the considerate policy of Agricola lasted, with occasional interruptions, 
for more than a century ; and the prosperity of the empire of Rome, in 
which its British colonies shared, culminated in the reign of Antoninus 
Pius, who acceded in the year 138. In the preceding reign the Emperor 
Adrian conducted in person a series of military operations against the 
tribes of North Britain, and built the celebrated wall which bears his 
name from Solway to Wallsend on the Tyne. From the middle of the 
second century the degeneracy of the Roman government and people 
was rapid, and the anarchy of the home provinces influenced for ill the 
condition of the distant dependencies of Rome. In the year 208 
Britain received another imperial visitor, the Emperor Severus, who, 
hearing that the colony was overrun by marauders out of Caledonia, 
hastened hither to restore order and to reduce these northern tribes. 
Severus established his court at Eboracum (York), where, in the year 
211, he died. Again, a.d. 306, Constantine, who had been declared 
Emperor of the western half of the partitioned empire, sojourned in 
Britain, and also died at York, when his son, Constantine the Great, was 
proclaimed emperor in that city. The garrisons of the Romans in 
Britain consisted, for many generations after the conquest, of three legions 
— the Second, spread over the southern provinces of the country ; the 
Sixth, whose head quarters were at York ; and the Twentieth, which was 
quartered at Chester, with detachments at various stations in the north- 
western territory. 

Roman stations— ribchester. it 


Of the numerous stations occupied by the Romans in Lancashire, 
those of Rigodunum (Ribchester), and Coccium (Walton), were situate in 
the lower portion of the Vale of Ribble. Ribchester was a station of the 
first importance. Rigodunum was the name by which it was kno^vn to 
Ptolemy as a British post. The ancient name of its beautiful river was 
Belisama. The Roman nomenclature of the place is not yet satisfactorily 
settled. It stands as Coccium on the Tenth Iter of Antoninus, if we 
accept for that Iter the great road from Manchester to Overborough ; 
and a local antiquary made an ingenious attempt to find the etymology 
of Coccium in Rigodunum. But subsequent researches in the perplexed 
subject of the Roman topography of Lancashire have led to the fixing of 
Coccium at Walton-in-le-Dale. 

The position of Ribchester, lying in the centre of the Lancashire 
portion of the valley of the Ribble, was, in a military point of view, at 
once commanding and secure. Across Ribchester, the valley shows its 
greatest expanse, and one of the few fords of the river is hard by. The 
station stood, like the modem village, on the north side of the Ribble, 
protected in front by the steepness of the other bank and by the deej) 
pools of the river ; and having to the east a natural defence in the brook 
which there descends into the Ribble. The western wall was washed by 
a small canal connected with the river below Anchor Hill. In the rear 
the ground is sufficiently open to permit of effectual precaution against 
surprise. Moreover, the station occupied the intersection of two 
principal roads of the Romans in the north-west of England, which 
supplied the city with four grand routes, answering to the four points of 
the compass, affording direct communication with every portion of the 
British colony. The foundation of the Roman station here is supposed 
to date from the latter years of the first century. The notion that 
Ribchester was a Roman seaport, occasioned by the discovery there of 
small anchors, mooring rings, and other nautical implements, has been 
exploded. The Ribble could never have been a tidal and navigable 
water up to Ribchester since the geologic epoch, incomputably remote, 
when the marshy lands of West Lancashire emerged from the sea, for 
those districts lie considerably below the level of Ribchester ; and as we 
know that the Romans had both stations and roads in the Fylde 
country, it is obvious that Roman shipping could at no time have been 
floated on the tides of Ribble so far inland. The anchors and rings 
seen at Ribchester must have belonged to barges employed to ferry men 
and stores across the river opposite to " Anchor Hill." The area of the 
Roman circumvallation at Ribchester is ascertained to have been about 


ten statute acres. The length of the rectangle of the fortifications was 
300 yards, and its breadth from 130 to 140 yards. Over a considerable 
portion of this area the current of the Ribble now flows. The river, 
after running due west until it reaches Ribchester, bends quickly to 
the south opposite the village, the situation of which, being at the 
outer edge of the curve, is exposed to the inroads of the current. The 
Ribble is subject to heavy floods after continued rains, being fed by 
many streams coming down from the fells, and on these occasions large 
portions of the north bank are frequently torn away by the impetuous 
torrent, in spite of recent attempts to break its force by facing the bank 
with massive stones. This process of encroachment, going on without 
intermission for 1,800 years since the Roman ramparts were reared, has 
shifted the bed of the river at this point to an extent more than equal to 
the width of the stream ; and has submerged about one-third of the site 
of the ancient station. The eastern angle of the Roman camp now lies 
separated from the rest of the area on the south side of the Ribble, and 
within the township of Clayton-in-le-Dale in Blackburn Parish. 

The limited dimensions of the walled enclosure at Ribchester may 
hardly be consonant with the conception of a populous and spacious 
city ; but it should be considered that these lines only covered the camp 
of the Roman garrison. According to the Roman castrametal system, 
even such an area as that of Ribchester was capable of holding in an 
emergency one entire legion with its auxiliaries, about 9,000 men. The 
villas of the affluent and the huts of the indigent civilians of ancient 
Ribchester might, at the period of its highest prosperity, surround for 
some distance the military enclosure. The garrison of Ribchester con- 
sisted, as appears from inscriptions found there, of detachments of the 
Sixth Legion from Eboracum, of the Twentieth Legion from Deim, and 
of wings of the Sarmatian horse and of the Astures — auxiliaries brought 
from distant subject territories of the empire. The Sarmatians, who 
were of the same race with the Cossack horsemen of the modern Russian 
armies, are believed to have constituted the ordinary garrison of this 

A brief summary of the numerous discoveries of antiquities which 
have been made at this famous spot may not be out of place in these 
pages. The earliest note of the remains here is made by Leland, anti- 
quary to Henry VIIL, who made his itineration of the kingdom 
within the years 1544-50. He leaves of the Ribchester of his day this 
short but expressive record : — " Ribchestre is a vii. miles above Preston, 
on the farther Ripe of Ribyl as Prestun is. Ribchestre is now a 
poore thing ; it hath been an aunciente towne. Great squarid stones, 
voultes, and antique coynes be founde ther ; and ther is a place wher the 


people fable that the Jues had a temple [the common folk attributed 
Roman remains to the Jews]. Whaulley Abbay a 4 miles above Ribchestre 
on the same Ripe. Sawley Abbay a — miles above that, but it stondith 
ripa citeriori. There is no Bridge on Rible betwixt Prestun and the Se. 
It flouith and ebbith in Ribyl most communely more then half way up 
betwixt Prestun and Ribchestre, and at ragis of Spring Tydes farther.'" 

Camden, who was at Ribchester twice, in 1582 and 1603, published 
a description of the visible vestiges of the Roman city, and offered deci- 
pherings of the inscriptions, some of which have been corrected by 
subsequent writers. In the account of his first visit Camden writes : — 
" Here the Ribell, presently turning west, gives its name to a village at 
present called Riblechester, where so many remains of Roman antiquities, 
statues, coins, columns, capitals, bases of columns, altars, marbles, and 
inscriptions are continually dug up, that the inhabitants seem not much 
mistaken in their lame rhyming proverb : — 

It is written upon a wall in Rome, 

Ribchester was as rich as any town in Christendom.^ 

More than a century later (1725) an able antiquary. Dr. Stukeley, 
examined the spot, and his observations are printed in the Jtinerarium 
Curiosum." His narrative of the aspect of the place and the inroads of 
the river is graphic, and well worthy of quotation : — 

The River Ribble is very broad at this place, rapid and sonorous, running over 
the pebbles, and, what is much to be lamented, over innumerable Roman antiquities ; 
for in this long tract of time it has eaten away a third part of the city. I traced round 
the old ground plot, and where the wall and ditch went round it, it lay in length east 
and west along the north side of the river, upon its brink, eight hundred feet long and 
five hundred feet broad. . . Originally, I apprehend, two streets ran along its 
length, and three crossed them at its breadth. By symmetry I find the whole channel 
of the river lies at present within the precinct of the old city, the original channel on 
the other side being filled up with the city walls and rubbish, for it bends with a great 
elbow towards the city. The eastern limit of the city, or that upward of the river, 
lies against a brook, there falling in ; and the two streams playing against that angle, 
have carried it away, and still threaten it. At the western end of the city, or down 
the stream, a whole road, and some houses too, by a bam, are absorbed, and a great 
quantity of ashler, the remains of the wall, has been carried off for building. Much 
remains in the ground, and on the edge of the stream. Further up the land and all 
along the west side of the church wall the ditch is perfect, and the rampart where the 
wall stood pretty high, and the foundation of the wall a little apparent. They tell me 
the ashler stone still lies its whole length. 

Dr. Stukeley further describes that a subterraneous canal or sewer, 
paved at the bottom, and high enough for a man to walk upright in it, 
entered the river just below the Red Lion Inn. The current there 
was so strong at times that " two or three bridges had in modem times 

1 Hearne's Leland, v. iv, pp. 22-3. 2 Cough's Camden, v. iii, p. 378. 3 V. ii, pp. 36-38. 



been swept away by floods." The hostelry referred to had been partially 
built out of the Roman ruins ; its doorway was " the base of a pillar, 
and a most noble shaft, seven feet long, handsomely turned, which was 
fished up out of the river;" and "one corner of the house had a Roman 
partition wall." As an example of the aggression of the river upon the 
bank, Stukeley relates that "within memory a great many houses 
(and among them the chief inn of the town) were washed away"; and 
" further on do^vn the river a great part of an orchard fell down last 
year (1724)." This writer enumerates a great quantity of minor relics 
which had recently been picked up at the time of his visit, such as frag- 
ments of pottery, two intaglios of Mercury, gold and brazen fingers 
broken from images, &c. 

John Horsley, who published in 1733 \\i^ Britannia Romaiia, 01; 
Roman Antiquities of Britain, supplies additional particulars in regard 
to the altars exhumed at Ribchester, with amended readings of their 
inscriptions. He also gives representations of inscriptions found on 
isolated stones about the place. Of one of these inscribed slabs, "lying 
at the door of a dwelling house," he remarks that " it has probably been 
an honorary monument to Severus and Caracalla, for the other inscrip- 
tions to these Emperors begin much after the same manner. It has 
been erected by a vexillation of one of the legions, but which of them 
is not so certain. The place lies most in the way of the Twentieth 
Legion, quartered at Chester." The inscription in question is rendered 
thus : — " Imperatori Ccesari. Imperatori Ccesari. Vexillatio Legionis. 
Sub. Sextis." Of a second fragmentary inscription noted by Horsley — 
and deciphered as " Imperatori Ccesari. Marco Aurelio. Consul 
Pontifici Maximo. Tribicnitia Fotestaie" — that author says : — " The 
form of this looks somewhat like a miliary pillar. It was lying in a 
garden at the west end of the town, and near the river. So much of 
the inscription is quite effaced as makes it hard to guess at the meaning 
of the whole."^ 

A remarkable batch of relics of the Roman period was accidentally 
turned up at Ribchester in the year 1796. In a hole which had been 
made in some waste land near the bend of the Ribble, in front of the 
village, a youth named Walton discovered, about nine feet below the 
surface, a group of articles of Roman manufacture, which had 
apparently been secreted at the spot, and surrounded by a quantity of 
sand. The most striking of these objects was a beautiful bronze helmet, 
richly ornamented with embossed figures. Along with this was a small 
Sphinx of the same metal, which had probably fonned the crest of the 
helmet ; also a bust of Minerva, three inches in diameter ; the remains 

1 Brit. Rom., p. 302. 



of vases, a number of circular brazen plates with mouldings, a circular 
plate with hinges for four buckles, carved and gilt ; a number of paterae ; 
portions of a candelabrum ; and, besides some smaller articles, a circular 
basin of earthenware, with the words inscribed upon it "Boriedi qfficina" 
supposed to be the name of the maker. The material of most of these 
remains was bronze. There were also found at the same time the tusk 
of a boar, and fragments of wood implements. The whole collection 
was purchased by Mr. Charles To^vnley, of Townley Hall, by whom a 
description thereof was given in a letter to the Society of Antiquaries. 
The helmet is now to be seen at the British Museum, and several 
engravings of this fine work of Roman metallurgy have been published. 
Describing the workmanship of this handsome relic Mr. Townley 
writes : — 

The helmet deserves the particular attention of the curious as the remains of 
remote ages ; very few ancient ones, decorated with embossed figures, have as yet 
appeared. The three or four which are preserved in the Museum at Portici are 
esteemed to be the most richly ornamented, and the best as to state of workmanship ; 
but when this helmet was in its proper state, it must have been equal, at least, to those 
in point of decoration, and in respect to its having a visor imitating so exactly the 
human features, I believe it to be the only ancient example of the kind that has yet 
been discovered. This singularity may excite a doubt whether such a helmet was 
destined for real combat, or only for the enrichment of occasional trophies which were 
erected in the celebration of military festivals, or carried in procession amongst the 
Greeks and Romans. Trophies of this sort are seen on various medals, with the 
names of the people whose subjugation such trophies are meant to record inserted 
upon them, as, for example, De .Sarmatis — De Germanis, on the medals of 
Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. The superior style of workmanship of the mask to 
the headpiece is also remarkable ; in the former, the beauty of the features, the 
excellent work of the figures in relief, and more particularly the sharp edges and lines 
with which the eyebrows, eyelids and lips are marked, after the manner of the Grecian 
art preceding the Coesars, denote it to have been executed some ages before the head- 
piece, the coarse and heavy work of which corresponds with that of the artists 
employed in the reign of Septimus Severus, and particularly with the sculpture upon 
the arch of that Emperor, situated near the Capitol Hill of Rome.' 

Dr. T. D. Whitaker paid much attention to the Roman remains 
at Ribchester, and brought his classic knowledge to bear upon their 
elucidation. Whitaker revised the readings of partially-destroyed 
inscriptions suggested by Camden, Leigh and Horsley. Amongst the 
inscribed stones mentioned by Camden, Whitaker states that a votive 
stone was in his time remaining in a garden wall in the village ; and 
another stone with the inscription, "Legio XX. Valerian vidricis fecit," 
which the doctor thinks had been the comer-stone of a building, was 
still to be seen in an outhouse by the church. The latter stone, he says. 
had then " two sides exposed, and on the second was a rude figure 

1 Vetusta Monumenta, v. iv, pp. 1-12. 


of a boar, the well-known cognisance of the Twentieth Legion." This 
stone is stated to be now at the mansion of the Whitakers, The Holme. 
Dr. Whitaker remarks, further, that " besides inscriptions, the smaller 
antiquities discovered here are innumerable ; the coins, of which 
many are found of the large brass, are generally so much corroded as to 
be scarcely legible. Denarii of the upper empire are not uncommon. 
A very pretty intaglio in a ruby is engraved by Leigh ; and I have a 
gold ring, found here some years since, set with a cornelian of many 
faces, with a dove in the centre, and round it the words ' Ave mea vita,' 
the present, as it should seem, of a lover to his mistress. Tradition also 
records a singular discovery at Ribchester, viz., the skull of an ox, 
covered with some remains of leather, and studded with gold." Both 
Camden and Horsley had noted certain stones of Roman character 
built in the structure of Salesbury Hall, at a short distance from 
Ribchester, and Whitaker was enabled to give a stricter description, 
the stone being removed from the wall in his presence, in 1815 : — 

I had long suspected that if ever the stone containing the sculpture of Apollo, 
which stood as a comer-stone at Salesbury, were removed, one of the two concealed 
sides would exhibit Camden's inscription ; and when, by the favour of Lord Bulkeley, 
the stone had been detached from the situation it had occupied during two centuries, I 
beheld the original, which had been so strangely misrepresented. The connection 
between the sculpture and the inscription now became obvious. On the front side is a 
basso-relievo of Apollo, reposing upon his lyre, better designed than any work of a 
Romano-British artist I have ever seen. On the second are the figures of two pnests 
in long robes holding the head of some horned animal between them ; on the third is 
the inscription ; the fourth is rough — had been originally attached to a wall. It now 
turns out to be a dedication to Apollo Aponus, or the indolent Apollo (or, as it may 
be read, Apollo the Healer), the god of medicine, who restores health by relaxation 
or repose, on behalf of an emperor who unfortunately is not mentioned. This accounts 
for the reposing attitude of the principal figure.' 

This altar became the property of Dr. Whitaker, and, with other 
antiquities, was bequeathed by him to St. John's College, Cambridge. 
A rude figure of Hercules is noticed by Whitaker as being, in like 
manner, built into the wall of Osbaldeston Hall ; this, too, was sub- 
sequently removed to Tabley Old Hall, in Cheshire. Other remains 
were brought to light during the lifetime of this historian, and received 
the benefit of his exhaustive commentary. In the year 181 1 were 
exposed the foundations of an extensive Roman temple at Ribchester. 
Some workmen were employed on the bank of the Ribble, opposite the 
Church, to stop the encroachments of the current, when they came 
upon the bases of two strong and well-cemented walls, standing nearly 
north and south, and parallel with each other at the distance of about 

I Hist. Whalley, new edn. . v. i, pp. 23-24. 


'j2 feet. Portions of the floor of the edifice were found within the 
included space, and close to the southern end lay a large inscribed slab, 
which unluckily was shattered by the workmen. On the fragments being 
adjusted, however, the complete inscription was presented, which was 
deciphered by Whitaker as follows : — " Dea MinervcB — Pro salute 
Imperaioris Akxandri Augusti, et yulia, matris Domini Nostri, et 
castrorum suorum, et Valerii, Crescentis Fulviani legaii, Provimim Fresidisj 
proprcetore, Natalis legatus Frcepoienti et Regime iemplum a solo restituit et 
dedicavit." (To the Goddess Minerva, — for the safety of the Emperor 
Alexander Augustus, and of Julia, mother of our lord and of his camps, 
and of Valerius Crescens Fulvianus his lieutenant, governor of the 
province, the proprietor, Natalis the lieutenant, restored this temple and 
dedicated it to the most powerful goddess and queen). The historic 
value of this inscription is considerable ; it proves the existence of a 
temple, formerly desolated and then restored, and dedicated to the 
Goddess Minerva, to an image of whom the helmet to which we 
have made reference may have belonged ; and it adds new names to the 
previously-known list of Roman legates in Britain. The interest aroused 
by this discovery was great, and two years afterwards, in the summer of 
1813, renewed investigations were made on the spot, with successful 
results, recorded fully in the History of Richmondshir^: — 

Leave having been obtained to dig in the adjoining gardens, between the river 
and the churchyard, the first appearances, at the depth of about three feet, were a 
stratum of charcoal, evidently formed by the conflagration of the roof, and nearly in 
the centre a cavity in the earth had been made, by the uniting of the ends of the 
beams at their fall, large enough to contain a man sitting. Beneath this was a 
confused mass of large amphorae, some almost entire at first, and many beautiful 
remnants of paterae in the red Samian ware, mingled with which lay several human 
skeletons, all of the largest size, in every direction. Every appearance about the 
place indicated that it had been taken by storm, and that the defenders had been buried 
in the ruins of the roof ; but the absence of tiles or slates seemed to prove that the 
outer covering of the building had been previously stripped by the assailants. Herej 
too, was found a very curious Roman statera or steelyard, very exactly graduated, and 
a singular bodkin of polished stone. The progress of discovery was once more 
suspended, till the sexton, digging a grave where no interment had taken place before, 
on the left hand of the entrance of the churchyard, found the base of a column and an 
anta or square moulded comer of the naoi itself, upright and in their original 
situations. Measurements were now accurately made from the place where the inscrip- 
tion was found (which must have been the front of the building) to the base of the 
column. This gave the entire length, excepting one intercolumniation, for the whole 
had evidently had a peristyle. The distance of the anta from the column, by the rules of 
architecture, gave the distance also between column and column ; by which data, 
with the help of a very conspicuous line of mortar about 45 feet westward in the 
church.yard, the site of the west wall was ascertained ; a ground plan of the building 

I v. ii. p. 464. 



was laid down ; after which, by the known proportions of Doric architecture, a 
complete elevation was obtained. . . Let all these circumstances be laid together, 
and it will scarcely be doubted that this was a temple of Minerva, restored by 
command of Caracalla ; that the temple had been stormed and burned in some 
eruption of the Caledonians, during the last period of Roman power in Britain ; and 
that the precious object of worship itself had been carefully deposited in the earth, on 
the approach of the threatened danger. Within a few yards of the east wall of the 
temple was disclosed the statue of a lion, of tolerable workmanship, which, from the 
roughness of one side, must have been an architectural ornament. 

The dimensions of the temple, deduced by architectural rules 
from the above data, were — length, 112 feet; breadth, about 72 feet; 
with sixteen columns in the front. The last of Whitaker's discoveries 
was that of the lower part of an altar among the stonework of a dilapi- 
dated chimney in a house in Ribchester. The inscription upon it was 
almost effaced. In the year 1819, the Rev. S. J. Allen, of Salesbury, 
reported that another altar was found in the basement of the White Bull 
Inn. In 1829, again, some Roman coins were dug up at Anchor Hill, 
along with pieces of a Saxon cross and other Saxon relics. In 1833, 
another notable discovery was recorded. This was a fine altar which 
was taken out of the churchyard. This altar stood for years in the lobby 
of the Vicarage, but it has recently been sold to the Marquis of Rothwell. 
The altar is two feet six inches in height, one foot ten inches in breadth, 
and one foot seven inches in depth. Its sides are ornamented with vine- 
branches, and on its front is an inscription, very clearly chiselled, but 
mutilated on the lower left-hand comer by the breaking of the altar 
block. The legible lines read thus : — " Pro salute et vidorix invicti 
Imperatoris Marci Aurelii Severi Antonini Fit, felicis Augusti, et Julice 
AugustcB, mairi Domini et castrorum." (For the health and victory of 
the unconquered Emperor Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Pius, 
the fortunate Augustus, and Julia Augusta, mother of the Emperor and 
of the camps.) The emperor in whose behalf this altar was reared, 
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, reigned from a.d. 161 to 180, within which 
period the work must have been executed and dedicated. When found 
it bore marks of the action of fire, and with it were secured a fibula, or 
brooch, a ring of brass, a bulla, inscribed with some illegible 
characters, and three coins, one of Trajan, another of Valerian, the third 
with its superscription obliterated. 

Numberless small matters have been found at intervals during the 
last forty years, both at Ribchester itself and at places adjacent. Many 
coins of gold and silver have fallen into the hands of various persons 
from time to time. In the year 1837, workmen digging in the garden of 
the late Mr. Patchett, surgeon, reached the paved floor of what was 
suggested to be a Roman bath, but might as probably be a Roman villa. 

1 « » * 

SErui.cUKAi. Slab with Roman Sculi'TURk in relief, taki;n out 


.SV*- .tjifJi'U'ti.v. 


The dimensions of the discovered apartment were ascertained to be 
thirty feet by fifteen feet. The walls of it still stood four feet above the 
floor, and were three feet thick. Some stone pillars, about a foot in 
height, were taken out in the excavation. Many of the tiles of the floor 
were removed, and underneath was found a layer of cement, upon a 
course of boulder-pavement similar to that of the Roman causeways. 
At Hanvood Fold, in the township of Clayton-le-Dale, by which passed 
the Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester, there was found, in 
1834, a perfect and finely-wrought fibula of bronze ; this passed into the 
possession of Mr. John Eccles, of Leyland. The figure of a Roman 
standard-bearer, at Standen Hall, near Clitheroe, may have been brought 
from Ribchester. 

The latest systematic scrutiny of the vestiges of Roman Ribchester 
took place August 20th, 1850, on the occasion of the visit of the 
Archaeological Association. For this Congress extensive excavations 
were authorised, and numerous articles were found in the trenches dug, 
both near the western wall and in the gardens at the eastern comer 
of the station. A statement of the discoveries here was prepared for 
the Association by the late Mr. Harland and Mr. Just. The excavations 
of 1850 "laid bare the outer wall to its foundation on the western side. 
It consists of loose stones without mortar, or the cement grouting 
common to such foundations. On the opposide side, in the angle 
between the river and the junction of the brook, a large quantity 
of Roman pottery was found, consisting of numerous fragments of Samian 
ware, chiefly of paterae, many marked with the potter's name ; one 
ampulla, with both handles perfect, and others broken ; fragments 
of glass, of common pottery, nails, bones of animals, in which were tusks 
of boars and swine, five Roman coins, three of which are silver, but are 
much corroded ; two of the coins appear to be coins of Vespasian and 
Titus, the third of Vitelius; two of copper, much corroded, but 
apparently of the same period.'" Similar specimens of pottery, of various 
descriptions, including the Samian ware, are still continually turning up ; 
the writer has himself found a number of interesting remains of this 

The coins recovered here embrace within their dates more than 
three centuries of the epoch of the Roman occupation of Britain. They 
begin with coins of Augustus, B.C. 29 to 14; and include coins of Titus 
Vespasian, 79 to 81, a.d. ; of Nerva, 96 to 98 ; of Trajan, 98 to 117 ; 
of Hadrian, 117 to 138 j of Commodus, 180 to 192; of Septimus 
Severus, 193 to 211; of Caracalla, 211 to 217; of Dioclesian, the 
persecutor of the Christians, 284 to 305 a.d. ; and one of a Christian 

I Journal Brit. Archseol. Assn., v. vi, p. 249. 


emperor, bearing the cross and the motto of Constantino, " in hoc stgno 

Could the whole of the objects of Roman work disinterred at 
Ribchester be brought together, they would display a collection as varied 
and as rich as have been procured from any single station of the Romans 
in Britain. But they are now irrecoverably scattered, and are chiefly 
hidden from public view in the cabinets of private collectors. The 
resident student in Roman archaeology must therefore content himself 
with such acquaintance with these remains as he can make through the 
medium of written descriptions by those who had the good fortune 
to inspect them on their discovery. 

The recent extension of the churchyard at Ribchester on the west 
side of the Roman site may lead to further disclosures of buried remains 
in the course of time. In the excavation of graves in the new ground, 
the Roman level is reached at a depth of three or four feet, defined by 
charred portions of oaken beams, and a layer of charcoal in which are 
contained fragments of Roman pottery, human bones, and other sugges- 
tive relics. The most interesting object yet secured in the new cemetery 
is a staiera (the Roman steelyard), found in the spring of 1874 by the 
sexton when digging a grave. This instrument is perfect in its parts ; 
the lever is of brass, with distinct graduation and numeral letters ; the 
suspenders and hooks of brass ; and the two weights of lead, conical- 
shaped. The steelyard lay embedded in the ashes of burnt timber. 


The claim of a Roman foundation has been advanced on behalf of 
Walton-in-le-dale in this parish. It is but recently that evidences of the 
existence of a Roman station at Walton have been disclosed, although 
the probability of such a station on the Ribble, in the neighbourhood 
of Preston, had been previously recognised. This belief was the 
sequence to the fact that a Roman military road traversed the west side 
of the County, and crossed the Ribble in that vicinity. It was not to 
be supposed that the Romans would leave so critical a point as the ford 
of a large river unguarded by camp or fort, or permanent garrison. Mr. 
Sibson, in a lengthy contribution on the Roman ways of West Lanca- 
shire, about forty years ago remarked that at Walton " it was probable 
there had been a fortified camp to protect the pass of the Ribble." 
Some writers thought that the station might have stood a short distance 
to the north of the river, to reconcile the distances from station to station 
given in the Iter of Antoninus, if this route were accepted as the Tenth 
Iter, and the station of Coccium were placed near the Ribble on this 

1 T. Baines, Lane, and Ches., v. i, p. 277. 


line of road. Proof that Walton was the site of a Roman camp was at 
length produced by Mr. C. Hardwick. The circumstances that led to 
the disclosure were accidental. Mr. Hardwick, in the year 1855, was in 
quest of vestiges of the battle of Cromwell with the Scottish army in 
1648, when the traces of Roman occupation manifested themselves. 
The workmen of the Preston Corporation were then digging for stones 
and gravel on the Walton bank of the Ribble, and among the excavated 
material were some coins of brass, one of which was sufficiently legible 
to be pronounced a Roman coin of the reign of Domitian. The spot 
at which these remains appeared was the space on the left of the river, 
between the bridge and the confluence of the Danven. The Ribble 
makes a quick turn just before passing beneath the bridge, and proceeds 
at a right angle to its former course until the Darwen joins it, and thus 
the site is protected wholly on three of its sides by the two rivers. At 
present the channel of the Darwen before its junction is nearly straight, 
but it formerly made a great bend here, almost doubling upon itself, and 
so covered the Roman site on the greater part of the fourth side. The 
strength of the position as a military post, at least against such enemies 
as the Romans had to contend with, is obvious. The supposed track 
of the Roman road from Warrington to Lancaster crosses the parallelo- 
gram near its eastern limit. Stimulated by the indications of Roman 
tenure upon which he had stumbled, Mr. Hardwick prosecuted his inves- 
tigation with diligence, and made such further discoveries as to leave no 
wova for doubt that a Roman fort had occupied this ground. 

The Roman antiquities dug up at Walton embrace the usual varieties 
of pottery found at the imperial stations. There are some fragmentary 
specimens of the Samian bowls, with their fine grain and durable glaze, 
bright red colour, and beautiful embossed designs, which are figured by 
Mr. Hardwick. Two portions of the large vases of the common red 
clay, called amphorae, are mentioned, consisting of the neck and handle 
of those vessels. A piece of the rough unglazed earthenware, marked 
after turning with dots and figures by the hand of the potter, was also 
got. A great number of pieces of the coarse blue-black pottery, 
manufactured in urns and dishes for ordinary domestic use, have been 
picked up in the station. All the above are similar in make to the 
varieties of Roman pottery occasionally laid bare at Ribchester. In 
coins, four or five brass ones, of the reigns of Titus Vespasian, Domitian, 
and Antoninus, are all that have yet been secured at Walton. Of per- 
sonal ornaments, a brass fibula (the Roman brooch) and the button 
of another in bronze, are mentioned. The fibula, which is three and a 
half inches long, " is of fine brass, ornamented in the centre with a 
circular figure in bright red enamel, resembling the stone setting of a 


modem finger ring.'" A number of large iron nails, fragments of lead 
and copper, and of vessels in pewter, were got during the search, along 
with a large portion of the lower stone of a quern, or hand com mill ; 
fragments of " riders," or upper quern stones ; a small wheel or spindle 
head, about an inch and a half in diameter, formed of a fine bluish 
stone ; portions of the jaw of a horse or ox, with other bones ; and 
" the core of a hom of one of the extinct species of oxen, the Bos 
longifromr Some additional fragments of pottery and a few coins have 
since been found on the site. The above constitute the greater part 
of the antiquities of the Roman period which have been revealed at 
Walton. They are not very extensive in quantity, or remarkable in their 
character ; but they suffice to attest the presence and prolonged occu- 
pancy of the first subjugators of Britain. Probably this was a strictly 
military post, without a civil settlement superadded. The space of the 
plot is too restricted for erections on any great scale, and the situation too 
low and damp to be chosen as a residence by a civilian population. Mr. 
Hardwick is led by certain indications to the opinion that the native British 
had a fort here anterior to the Roman advent } and it is hardly likely 
they would neglect to occupy such a point for the command of the 
passage of the river. The identification of Walton as a Roman station 
sheds light upon the Roman system of fortified places in Lancashire, 
if it does not altogether clear up the ambiguities of the old Itineraries. 

The vestiges of an ancient fort on the summit of Mellor Moor, are 
assumed to belong to a minor post in the chain of Roman military star 
tions in Ribblesdale. This camp is a rectangular entrenchment, about 
loo feet by 75 feet. The surrounding fosse has partially filled up, 
but its depression is still marked. The position overlooks Ribchester, 
some three miles off, northward, in the recess of the valley ; at the same 
time that it commands the lower station at Walton, and the estuary of 
Ribble from Preston to Lytham, at some point on which, probably near 
Freckleton, was the Roman harbour. Mellor Moor was therefore well 
chosen for a speculum or a signalling-station to Ribchester and other 
stations seaward, that could communicate immediately by means of a 
semaphore worked from this conspicuous outpost. To the south, also, 
the sentinel on Mellor Moor covered with his observation the dozen 
miles of Roman Road from Blacksnape to Longridge, excepting a short 
length of it down in the Blackburn valley. 


Before we quit the period of Roman dominion in Britain, it will be 
needful to refer to sepulchral remains, attributed to that era, which have 

i Hist, of Preston, p. 42* 


been disclosed in this parish. The presence here of the Romans, as the 
governing race, for more than three centuries, influenced to a large extent 
the manners of the subject aborigines. The Latin language, in corrupted 
forms, was in use among the conquered peoples; the Roman toga 
became the fashionable garment of the British youth, and the Roman 
paganism supplanted the rites of native Druidism. Among domestic 
arts, the Celtic-British acquired from the Romans the manufacture of 
pottery, and in ruder forms reproduced the bowls, urns, and jars of the 
Roman earthenware. About the reign of Sylla the Roman people began 
generally to practice the burning of the dead, and the enclosure of the 
ashes in the funeral urn for deposition in the tomb. Following the 
example, the Celtic inhabitants of Britain partially abandoned their former 
mode of burying the bodies of their dead entire for the method of 
cremation. Within the century many tumuli, or burial mounds, have 
been opened in this country which have been found to contain earthen- 
ware urns and small cup-like vessels filled with the ashes of human bones, 
a circumstance which marks a distinction between the sepulchral mounds 
of the Romano-British epoch, and the barrows erected by Saxon and 
Dane in a later age. In some districts of the country, however, the 
system of cremation survived until Saxon times. The pottery found in 
the Saxon graves is more finely moulded and artistically wrought than 
the British cinerary urns. 

An interesting discovery of Sepulchral remains, apparently of the 
Roman-British period, was made in Blackburn Parish in the month 
of October, 1864. Excavations were in progress to prepare the founda- 
tions of a villa at White Hall, Over Darwen, on the estate of William 
Shorrock Ashton, Esq., when the workmen fell in with extensive 
relics of an ancient place of sepulture. The situation of these remains 
was a mound upon the top of the knoll which rises to the right of the 
road to Bolton, a short distance beyond the Bowling Green Mill, in 
Darwen. Upon the spot now stands the villa of Ashleigh. The Roman 
Road from Manchester to Ribchester passes over Blacksnape a mile or 
so to the eastward. Upon the communication of this important discovery 
to Mr. Ashton, that gentleman took steps to preserve the whole series 
of remains. Subsequently, Mr. Ashton supplied particulars of these 
to Mr. Llewellynn Jewett, F.S.A., who published a paper on the subject 
in The Reliquary} Mr. Jewett describes the barrow and its contents as 
follows : — 

The barrow overlooked the Darwen valley on the east, but was sheltered by the 
high hills which separate that river from the Roddlesworth on the west. It was 
within the grounds of White Hall, and near to Low Hill House, the seat of Eccles 

J V. vi, pp. 137-8. 


Shorrock, Esq. It was formed on the summit of a natural mound, and is about thirtji' 
yards in diameter ; its height from the natural surface of the hill varying from one to 
ten or twelve feet. The centre of the barrow was, to the extent of about six feet in 
diameter, sunk in its centre. Some half century ago the barrow was planted with 
trees, and it is only recently that the site — a most charming one for a villa residence — 
has been determined to be appropriated to building purposes. The trees were felled 
in the autumn of 1864, and it was during the course of the excavations for the founda- 
tions of the house that the real nature of the mound was discovered. A careful 
examination of the place was made by Mr. Ashton, and the result was the bringing to 
light of no less than ten distinct interments. One of these was simply a heap of burnt 
bones without any cist or urn ; and others were enclosed in urns, only one of which was 
found in an inverted position. On the top of each of the cinerary urns was a rough flat 
stone, and they were each surrounded and covered by small stones carefully piled up. 
Two of the cinerary urns were found in a tolerably perfect state ; the others were very 
much broken. 

Two small vessels, usually called "incense cups," were found within 
the urns. The most perfect of the urns is twelve inches in height, 
and ten inches in diameter at the top. It is circular in form ; the lower 
portion somewhat resembles a common flower-pot, narrowing quickly to 
its base ; at the central and widest part the sides of the vessel are vertical 
for three or four inches; above is a deep rim or collar. The ornamentation 
consists of a number of dotted indentations, produced by the point of a 
stick while the clay was unbaked. This urn was found filled with 
burnt bones, on the top of which lay the incense cup, also containing 
human ashes. The dimensions of the minor vessel were one and three- 
quarter inches in height, two and a half inches in diameter at the 
mouth, and four inches in diameter at the middle. This vessel is void 
of ornament. The second urn figured in the woodcut is considerably 
smaller than the one already described, being but seven and a half inches 
in height, and seven inches in diameter. The shape when complete 
(it is materially mutilated) was substantially similar to the other. Instead 
of the rows of indentations on the upper exterior of the larger urn, this 
vessel, upon its middle part and collar, is " elaborately covered with a 
reticulated ornament, produced in the usual manner by pressing a twisted 
thong into the pliant clay." The contents of this urn, too, were charred 
bone fragments and an incense cup of the same make with the former 
smaller vessel. The other seven urns had been reduced to fragments. 
Some were more ornamental in their reticulations than either of the 
examples described. One fragment of the collar of an urn is of the 
" herring-bone " pattern, produced with the twisted thong indented into 
the soft clay. The vessels and other sepulchral relics collected on this' 
discovery were presented by Mr. Ashton to the Museum of the Historic 
Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and are now exhibited in the Public 
Free Museum at Liverpool. 



: ? 


The story of the Roman occupation in Britain closes upon a scene 
of national helplessness and desolation. The conquest of the country 
by the Roman generals was marked by many acts of ruthless repression ; 
but the decay of the Roman power was a worse misfortune to the 
British than the former triumph. Relying upon the amis of their martial 
masters, the native people had long neglected the art of war ; and when 
their protectors had gone they became the prey of fierce hordes, that 
rushed into the gap left by the Romans from every adjacent territory. 
Over the greater part of this northern region bands of Pictish robbers 
prowled unchecked, preying upon the inhabitants of the Romano- 
British towns from which the garrisons had departed, and obliterating with 
barbarous avidity every remnant of civilisation. In the year 418 the 
Romans " collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and some they 
hid in the earth, so that no one has since been able to find them ; and 
some they carried with them to Gaul.'" The ruins of Roman Ribchester 
jeveal tokens that the city had been carried by sudden assault, its 
temples and shrines consumed by fire, and its feeble defenders buried in 
ruins. The fate of Ribchester was but the general doom of the fifty 
beautiful walled towns the Romans left behind them in Britain on 
their final migration. Three hundred years of contact with the foremost 
race in the then-civilised world had given the Britons a glimpse of the 
blessings of a cultured state of society ; — but now, for a melancholy 
space, the land was to lapse into the miseries of a worse than the original 
barbarism ; and the dark disc of Gothic Paganism was to eclipse the 
genial orb of Christianity, newly risen upon Britain's horizon. 

It is probable that before the relinquishment of the land by the 
Romans, the Christian religion had made its way to our shores, and had 
been embraced by no small proportion of the native populations. But 
the appearance of the Saxons and Angles, pagans of the most ferocious 
type, extinguished the nascent faith in those districts of the country over 
which their power extended. In the time of King Edwin, a fresh move- 
ment took place for the evangelization of Britain. Pope Gregory the 
Great, on his accession, sent to England forty missionaries, under the 
charge of Augustine. Edwin, king of Northumbria, having espoused 
Edilberga, daughter of Ethelbert the Kentish king, a Christian princess, 
embraced the same faith, and when his queen set out for the Northum- 
brian court she was accompanied by Paulinus, a zealous missionary 
of the Roman Church. A.D. 627 Paulinus was consecrated archbishop 
of Northumbria, and Christianity became the State religion of the 
northern Angles. The king, with all his nobles, was baptised at York 
on Easter Sunday, 627, and the common people of the Anglian race, 

1 Saxon Chron., Bohn's edn., p. 308. 



following the royal example, adopted the Christian name in great 
numbers. It is recorded that no fewer than 10,000 converts were 
baptised at one time by Paulinus. The inhabitants of Lancashire 
listened to the preaching of Paulinus, and accepted the new faith. 
Churches were planted in various parts of our county. In the Hundred 
of Blackburn, Paulinus prosecuted his propaganda with great success, 
and the mother-church of the district was founded by him at Whalley, 
about the year 625. In the churchyard at Whalley are seen interesting 
monuments of the memorable event of the introduction of Chris- 
tianity here, in the three antique crosses which are believed to have been 
erected in the time of Paulinus, and probably by his direction. There 
is a tradition that twelve Saxon castles were reared in the part of Lanca- 
shire south of the Ribble during Edwin's reign. The sites of these 
castles are placed at Whalley and Walton (in this district), at Childwall, 
Winwick, Blackstone, Sephton, Standish, Penwortham, Wigan, Rochdale, 
Middleton and Bury. Edwin, first Christian king of Northumbria, was 
killed in battle, a.d. 633, and his kingdom spoiled. Paulinus died in 
the year 644. 

It would be tedious to pursue step by step the history of the Saxon 
dominion in the North of England. It is the story of a succession 
of civil wars and usurpations, of the rise and fall of petty dynasties, 
undiversified by the record of local transactions of interest. Towards 
the close of the eighth century, however, an event of national import- 
ance transpired in the valley of the Ribble. At this period the nation 
of the Northumbrian Angles was distressed by the quarrels of internal 
factions. At Easter-tide, in the year 774, says the Saxon Chronicle, 
" the Northumbrians drove their King Alcred from York, and took 
Ethelred, the son of Moll, to be their lord ; he reigned four years." 
In 778 the opposite party had its turn of triumph. "Ethelbald and 
Herbert slew three high reeves, and then Athwold obtained the kingdom 
[of Northumbria] and drove Ethelred out of the country ; and he 
reigned ten years." A.D. 789 saw the downfall and death of Athwold, 
who was slain by Siga in October, and Osred, the son of Alcred, then 
succeeded. In the subsequent year Osred, too, was betrayed and 
banished, and Ethelred regained the kingdom. These brief chronicles 
show into what a state of confusion the regal succession had at this time 
fallen in Northumbria. To increase its wretchedness, the kingdom was 
afflicted by a severe famine in the year 793, and the Northmen had now 
begun to harass the dwellers on its coasts. In the same year " dire 
forewamings came over the land of the Northumbrians, and miserably 
terrified the people ; there were excessive whirlwinds and lightnings ; 



and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air." Ethelred, like his 
predecessors, was deposed and killed by his own people in May, 794, 
and, after many months of anarchy, Eardulf succeeded to the perilous 
and unstable dignity of the Northumbrian crown. 

Three years after\vards a rival faction had gathered head, and was 
prepared to contest with Eardulf the government of the kingdom. The 
decisive battle between the King and the abettors of this revolt took 
place at Langho, near Whalley, in this parish. In the year 798, Eardulf 
was compelled to take the field against the leaders of a formidable revolt 
in the western parts of Northumbria. The chiefs of the conspiracy 
were Wada and with him Alric, both implicated in a former rebellion, that 
had ended in the deposition and death of the previous king, Ethelred. 
Eardulf encountered the insurgent army on the frontier of his kingdom 
(for the country south of Ribble was then a part, not of the Saxon 
kingdom of Northumbria, but of that of Mercia). Wada and his army 
had probably been driven upon neutral territory before the decisive battle 
took place. At all events, it was here that the rebellion of Wada was 
crushed. The account of the battle, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 
is rendered: — "a.d. 798. This year there was a great fight at 
Whalley (Whaellsege), in the land of the Northumbrians, during Lent, 
on the 4th before the Nones of April ; and there Alric, the son of Herbert, 
was slain, and many with him." Another chronicler, Simeon of 
Durham, not only mentions Whalley as near the place of conflict, but 
more closely indicates the spot. His account is as follows: — "A con- 
federacy was made by the murderers of King Ethelred ; Wada, chief in 
that conspiracy, with his force went against Eardulf, in a place called by 
the English Billangahoh, near Walalege, and on either side many were 
slain ; Wada, the chief, with his men, was put to flight, and King 
Eardulf regally achieved victory over the enemies." The name 
Billangalioh, here assigned to the place of battle, may be taken to refer 
to the line of low hills near to the Ribble bank, between Hacking and 
Braddyll. The present name of Langho, given to the inner side of this 
elevated ground, apparently is a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon 
Billangahoh. The historian of Whalley endeavoured to elucidate the 
position of the battle, the written record of which he found confirmed 
by an oral tradition of some ancient battle on the lower ground 
of Billington. On the right bank of the Ribble, opposite Hacking 
Hall, are two large tumular mounds, rising from the level ground on the 
inner side of the bend of the river at this point. The mounds are 
plainly artificial in structure, and probably monumental in intent. The 
tumulus nearest to the river is a prominent object, and bears the name 
of the " Lowe." Into this mound Whitaker had some excavation 

j8 history of BLACKBURN. 

made about the year 1815, but found the work heavy, and gave it up 
without reaching the centre of the tumulus, where the reUcs of sepulture 
should lie. Nearly forty years since, a discovery, apparently connected 
with the battle of Billangahoh, was made on the Billington side of the 
Ribble, in the flat ground called Brockhole Eses, near the river. 
Raines has a note of this disclosure : — "In the year 1836, as Thomas 
Hubbersty, the farmer at Brockhole, was removing a large mound 
of earth in Brockhole Eases, about 500 yards from the bank of the 
Ribble, on the left of the road leading from the house, he discovered a 
Kist-vaen, formed of rude stones, containing some large human bones 
and the rusty remains of some spear heads of iron. The whole 
crumbled to dust on exposure to the air.'" The occupation-road from 
Brockhole farm-house passes close by the site of the mound in the 
direction of the river to the ford at this place, the only one across the 
Ribble for some miles up and down the river. The tumulus was so 
completely cleared away at the time of the finding of the central Kist- 
vaen, that no trace of it remains ; but its position has been indicated 
on the large ordnance map. This mound must have been smaller in 
bulk than the great mounds across the river opposite Hacking, or the 
farmer would not have undertaken to level it. If, therefore, the larger 
mounds be also sepulchral, and date from the same event, they may be 
supposed to contain more important relics than the Brockhole tumulus. 
This battle, by which the fate of a kingdom was decided, and in which a 
king was in command on one side, was no insignificant conflict ; the 
combatants would probably number some thousands ; and the battle- 
field might extend not only to Hacking but over the whole plain 
of lower Billington on the west side of the Calder ; — may indeed have 
begun on the Whalley side of that river ; have attained its deadliest 
fierceness about Hacking ; and have closed on the slope between 
Brockhole and Braddyll, where the fugitives of Wada's broken army 
would be driven in hurried flight to the ford of the Ribble. The 
memorial of this important battle, fought nearly eleven hundred years 
ago, inscribes the names of Billington and Whalley for the first time 
upon the page of written English history. King EardulPs victory here- 
abouts did not prevent the formation of fresh combinations against 
him, which brought about his overthrow and banishment eight years 
afterwards, in a.d. 806. 

Throughout the ninth and tenth centuries, a period marked by the 
desperate conflict of the Saxons and Angles with the Danes and North- 
men for possession of the soil of England, in which the Saxon King 
Alfred appears as the most noble and heroic actor, no event of historic 

1 Notit. Cestr., v. ii, pt. ii, p. 386. 


significance is known to have had these eastern parts of Lancashire for 
its theatre, unless the hypothesis of recent origin be accepted, which 
places the site of the famed battle of Brunanburh (a.d. 937), upon the 
hills near the border of the county about Burnley. The battle was the 
decisive close of the campaign between the Anglo-Saxon army under the 
command of King Athelstan, and the forces of a Dano-Scottish con- 
federacy led by Anlaf the Dane, and Constantine King of the Scots, 
wherein the latter were routed with great slaughter. Much difficulty has 
been found in determining the spot on which this battle took place, and 
several sites have been suggested by historians and antiquaries, on 
trifling grounds, in Northumberland, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and 
Cheshire. Mr. T. T. Wilkinson, F.R.A.S., has, however, presented a 
series of circumstances tending to his assumption that the veritable 
battle-field of Brunanburh is in the vicinity of Burnley.' The main 
grounds of this conclusion are, that the meaning of the Saxon name 
Brunanburh is, in modem English, the fortified place by the Brun ; that 
on the slopes of the hills on the right bank of the river Brun by Burnley 
are found abundant traces of extensive military earthworks, attributed to 
Saxon and Roman times ; that local tradition and the existing nomen- 
clature of the neighbourhood indicate the occurrence of some ancient 
battle there ; and that the probabilities point to the west rather than to 
the east coast of the Northumbrian Saxon Kingdom as the scene 
of the advance, defeat, and retreat of Anlaf s expedition, which was 
organised in Ireland, and the remnants of which, according to the 
Saxon chronicles, retired in their ships to Dublin after this signal 
discomfiture. The proofs of Mr. Wilkinson, if not absolute, are strong 
enough to demand attention, if not to justify the introduction of the 
victory of Athelstan, in the year 937, as a prominent feature of the 
archaeologic record of the district. 


A highly important disclosure bearing upon the Danish occupation 
of England, reported upon about thirty-five years ago in this parish, 
seems to require the association of some such transaction as the 
Brunanburh battle for its explanation. I refer to the extraordinary 
discovery of coins and other treasure of the Saxon and Danish period, 
made in the township of Cuerdale, in Ribblesdale, at the western 
comer of the Parish of Blackburn. If the army of Anlaf the Dane was 
vanquished by Athelstan near Burnley, in the campaign decided at 
Brunanburh, its best line of retreat to the sea-coast would be the valley 

I Hist. Soc. L. and C, Trans, v. ix, pp. 21-42. 


of the Calder to its confluence with the Ribble, and thence the valley 
of the Ribble to the estuary, where the Danish ships might have been 
anchored. It will be seen in the remarks which follow how the depo- 
sition of the mass of Danish treasure on the Ribble bank at Cuerdale 
appears to synchronise with and confirm the conception of the local 
determination of a memorable tenth-century war. 

The discovery of the celebrated collection of ancient coins and 
valuables at Cuerdale happened on the isth of May, 1840. Floods 
in the Ribble had inflicted damage upon its banks, displacing the earth 
which supported a wall constructed to preserve the channel and to 
prevent encroachments upon the land ; and workmen were employed in 
carrying earth to repair the mischief. While delving for material they 
lighted upon an enormous hoard of treasure, a little below the surface 
of the ground, at a distance of about forty yards from the Ribble. The 
hoard had originally been deposited in a leaden chest, enclosed in a 
wooden one, but both of these receptacles had become much decom- 
posed. The treasure consisted largely of silver coins, and also of a 
number of ingots or lumps of silver, silver armlets, brooches, rings, 
and other ornaments. The discovery is said to be the most remarkable 
and extensive of the kind ever made in this country. The coins were 
the most important portion of the collection ; their exact number, how- 
ever, cannot be stated ; for although, on the discovery being made 
known, the treasure was promptly claimed on behalf of the Crown, a 
considerable number of the articles had been secreted or disposed 
of by the finders before the claim was enforced, and fell into the hands 
of private collectors. On the 22nd August following an inquisition 
was held at Preston concerning the treasure, at which it was found that 
the coins secured to the Crown numbered about 6,800, weighing 304 
ounces troy; and that the silver ingots included sixteen large bars, 
weighing 132 ounces. The bulk of the treasure which accrued to the 
Crown was distributed to the British Museum and other public 
collections, including the University Museums of Oxford, Cambridge, 
and Glasgow. A selection of coins and ornaments was presented to 
Mr. Assheton, lord of the manor of Cuerdale. Specimens were also 
sent to the Bibliotheque de Roi, Paris, and to the Danish Museum at 
Copenhagen. A discovery so extensive and unique drew the 
attention of many distinguished archaeologists and numismatists, British 
and foreign ; and, before the distribution of the treasure, opportunity 
was afforded to competent authorities for a minute inspection of the 
coins and ornaments. The late Mr. Edward Hawkins, of the British 
Museum and the Numismatic Society, published the results of his 
scrutiny in several elaborate papers, — those devoted to a description 


of the coins appearing in the Numismatic Chronicle^ and the remarks 
upon the ingots, armlets, and other ornaments in the Journal of the 
Archceological I/istitute.* Mr. Lindsay, author of a work on the Coinage 
of the Heptarchy, also gave a synopsis of these coins ; and the eminent 
Danish archaeologist Worsaae, after careful investigations, reviewed the 
collection in his work on The Danes and Norwegians in England} Dr. 
Skaife, of Blackburn, an experienced numismatist, contributed a letter to 
the journals upon the subject. A summary of the descriptions given 
of the contents of the treasure chest is subjoined. 

" The coins consisted of Anglo-Saxon pennies, pieces of the second 
race of the French kings, a few oriental coins, and some which partially 
resemble both the Saxon and French series, which certainly do not 
belong to the dynasty of any country, but were probably struck by some 
of those piratical northern chiefs who obtained at different times a 
temporary authority both in England and France." The dates of the 
various reigns of English and foreign princes whose coins are exampled, 
extend from about the year 860 to 930. This latter date must therefore 
indicate approximately the period at which the secretion of the treasure 
took place. The date of the battle of Brunanburh being within seven 
years of the date of the latest coinage found at Cuerdale, it is easy to 
conjecture that the campaign of Anlaf, of which Brunanburh was the 
catastrophe, was, if fought in Lancashire, the occasion of the deposit 
of this immense collection of coins and bullion at Cuerdale. The 
deposit was evidently made by the Danish party during their temporary 
tenure of West Lancashire. It has been suggested that the hoard might 
be a Saxon one ; but it is hard to understand why, if the Saxon authori- 
ties had ever been under the necessity thus to secrete their military 
chest, they should not have taken steps for its recovery after the district 
had been cleared of its invaders. The wealth here forsaken was too 
great to have been forgotten by its depositors, or intentionally suffered 
to remain in the earth. But if the Danes after their defeat, unable to 
carry off their chest, buried it at Cuerdale, they probably did not return 
to the immediate neighbourhood at any future time, at least within the 
same generation, and might thus have no chance of regaining the 
treasure. Other Danish invasions did, indeed, afterwards occur, but 
they took different directions. There are, moreover, intrinsic grounds 
for the conviction that the secretion of the treasure was the act of the 
Danes. The singular admixture in the hoard of Scandinavian, French, 
and other continental coins, with a number of Anglo-Saxon coins, 
strengthens this presumption. The roving chiefs of the Danes and 
Northmen would gather quantities of the coinage of France and other 

1 VoL V, p. 104 et seq. 2 Vol. iv, pp. 111-130. 3 Page 49 et seq. 



European States which they overran about this time, and their military 
treasury would be replenished from these sources. To the mixed 
moneys of foreign mintage Anlaf and his allies brought with them on 
their invasion of England would be added collections of Saxon coin 
taken from the Saxon inhabitants of England during their occupation 
of portions of the country ; and so we can account for the curious 
conglomeration of native and foreign coins displayed in the Cuerdale 
treasure. Had the hoard been the property of Saxon chiefs, one can 
hardly suppose that it should have presented such a variety of coinage, 
and the Saxon element would have predominated over the Scandinavian, 
which it does not, there being, as Worsaae remarks, nearly three 
thousand Scandinavian and one thousand French coins, with other 
foreign examples, to two thousand seven hundred Anglo-Saxon coins in 
that portion of the Cuerdale collection preserved for the Crown. The 
following synopsis of the coins is supplied by Mr. Hawkins : — 
Anglo-Saxon Coins. a.d. a.d. 

2 Ethelred (East Anglia) about 860 

23 Ethelstan 87010890 

2 Ciolwlf (Mercia) 874 

867 Alfred 872 901 

45 Edward 90: 925 

1770 St. Eadmund — — 

1 Archbishop Ceolnoth 830 870 

59 Archbishop Phlegmund 881 923 

2 Sitric (? Danish) — — 

French Coins. 

34 Louis 81410929 

727 Carolus 840 923 

7 Carloman 879 884 

197 Eudes, orOdo 888 898 

II Lambert 894 898 

13 Berengarius 883 924 

Uncertain (? Scandinavian). 

304 Sigfred. 

486 Ebraice, or Evreux. 

23 Quentovici, or Quanage. 

1S60 Cunnetti. 

I Avaldus. 

315 Various. 

Oriental Coins. — 27. 

Mr. Hawkins's exhaustive series of papers elucidatory of these coins 
fill the greater portion of one volume of the Numismatic Chronicle, and 
are illustrated by 140 engraved examples of the coins. A few sentences 
from his comments upon the principal types in the series of English 
coins discovered, are all that can be cited here. The first of these, in 


chronological order, are two coins of Ethdred. Hawkins remarks 
thereon : " All that can be said with strong probability is, that the 
Ethelred who struck these coins was a contemporary of Eadward, and 
that he held dominion in East Anglia. The style of the coin and the 
name of the moneyer on the Museum coin, form the grounds of this 
opinion. The name of Headmod upon the Cuerdale coins does not 
appear upon any piece at present known, and therefore contributes 
nothing to shake or confirm this opinion." Coins of Ethelstan : — 
" Twenty-three are of a king whom I suppose to be Ethelstan, though 
upon most of them it is difficult to recognise the name ; it is, then, to 
be considered to which of the kings so named these pieces belong — to 
Athelstan, the sole monarch and the immediate successor of Eadward, 
or to Ethelstan, King of the East Angles ; and there is not much 
hesitation in assigning them to the latter of these personages. This king 
was strictly contemporary with Alfred, by treaty with whom he was 
established in his kingdom, and with whom he was in close alliance 
during almost the whole of his reign, which terminated in 890, about 
eleven years before that of Alfred. The types of these coins exactly 
resemble those of Alfred, and of eleven moneyers named upon them, 
six, probably seven, are those of Alfred." Coin of Ciolwlf: — "The only 
Mercian coin found in this large collection." " This coin is in most 
perfect preservation, and is one of the most interesting of the whole 
Saxon series." " The type is very remarkable ; the diadem and dress 
of the king are, like those of many other Saxon kings, copied from 
those of the later Roman emperors." Coins of Alfred : — These 
numbered 867 examples, and are "the first of those in general circula- 
tion at the time of the deposit." " Amongst them are some types 
hitherto unknown, and half-pence of which the existence was rather 
surmised than ascertained." Among other coinages are twenty-three 
specimens of coins with the London monogram ; twenty-four coins 
of the Oxford type ; and about no pieces of the Canterbury type. The 
Alfred half-pennies include one of Oxford mint ; three of the Canterbury 
type, and seven of the ordinary type like the pennies. Coins of 
Eadweard. — These are forty-five in number, " six only of the type which 
bears his bust, and thirty-eight of his more common type, having his 
name and title on the obverse as a legend, with a small cross in the 
centre of the type." There is but one specimen of the half-pennies 
of this reign. Coins of St. Eadmund. — These are by far the most 
numerous of the Saxon collection found at Cuerdale, there being 1,770 
specimens. " The type consists of the letter A on the obverse, with the 
name of the sainted king as legend ; on the reverse is a small cross, 
with the name of the moneyer." " It has generally been supposed that 



the coins of St. Eadmund were struck at the mint of the abbots of St. 
Edmundsbury, the earhest notice of which is a grant made to them by 
Edward the Confessor, in 1066. The name of the place does not occur 
upon the coins, but has been supposed to be intimated by the name 
of the mint. If such be the case, it would appear that the privilege 
of a mint must have been granted at the time of the canonisation of St. 
Edmund, all the circumstances of which are involved in much obscurity, 
but which it is now quite clear must have taken place very soon after his 
murder, in 870. The discovery of about 1,800 coins, mixed with those 
of a large number of Alfred, would be strong presumptive evidence that 
they were contemporary, but the fact is proved by four coins which are 
found in this hoard, bearing on one side the name of Alfred, and on 
the other that of Eadmund, with his saintly title." " Eadmund was 
murdered in 870 ; he was succeeded by Guthrum, the Dane, who subse- 
quently acquired the friendship of Alfred, and was converted to Christi- 
anity in 878 ; it is, therefore, somewhat probable that these coins, which 
give the name of Saint to Eadmund, were struck about this period ; that 
there is some connection between the conversion of Guthrum, the 
canonisation of Eadmund, and the striking of the coins which commemo- 
rate the event ; and that all the circumstances occurred under the 
sanction of Alfred." Com of Ceolnoih. — " Of the coins struck by Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury there is found here not one prior to Ceolnoth, 
and of his only one." " Of his successor, Ethered, who occupied the 
see from 871 to 891, not a piece was found ;" but there are fifty-nine 
coins of his successor Phlegmund ; among them several varying in some 
peculiarities from any previously known. 

Mr. Hawkins attempts to determine the probable date, and to 
guess at the possible occasion of the deposit. His first surmise is that 
the collection may have " belonged to a worker or dealer in silver, who 
had been suddenly interrupted by some alarm in the midst of his opera- 
tions for reducing his stock into ingots, preparatory to the further 
processes of his peculiar trade /' but later he concludes that the mass 
of treasure must have been brought from a distance, by parties 
of strangers ; and as the only parties of strangers likely to visit Lanca- 
shire at this period were warlike parties, the opinion is a corroboration 
of the view that the hoard was the military treasury of some invading 
Danish leaders. This authority observes : — " It may be remarked that 
these coins were probably collected within a limited district, for there is 
but one coin of any Mercian King, not one of the usual Mercian type, 
even of Alfred himself" " It must be observed that there is not 
amongst these coins any of either an Archbishop of York, or a King 
of Northumbria, which may be accounted for by the circumstance that 



the treasure consisted entirely of silver, and that no coins of that metal 
were current in Northumbria before the time of Regnald, who com- 
menced his reign in 912." "There is every appearance of this treasure 
having been collected in the South, and transferred in one mass to the 
place of its deposit. It may be supposed, then, that the Cuerdale 
treasure was deposited iinmediately upon the arrival in this neighbourhood 
of tlie party or parties 7vho brought it from a distance." Now, if these 
parties had been peaceable, coming in peaceable times, the hiding of the 
treasure was needless ; but if the owners of it were invaders of the land, 
its secretion, either just before a great battle or after a severe defeat, is 
quite accountable. As to the question of date, Mr. Hawkins's opinion 
is expressed as follows : — " Looking at the list of personages who may 
be considered to have struck the coins comprising the English portion 
of the Cuerdale treasure, it appears that the far greater number bear the 
name of Alfred or St. Eadmund ; it is clear, therefore, that these were 
strictly contemporary pieces, and that the deposit was made very soon 
after the death of Alfred, before his coins had been displaced by those 
of his successor. Archbishop Phlegmund occupied the see of Canterbury 
for eleven years before the death of Alfred, and survived him twenty-three 
years ; of his coins there are here fifty-nine specimens. He was the last 
prelate of Canterbury who struck coins in his own name, and it is not 
improbable that he may have discontinued the practice some years 
before his death ; indeed, while the occurrence of the name ,of Alfred 
upon one of Phlegmund's coins proves that some of his coins were struck 
during that King's reign, there is not any evidence that he struck coins 
after the King's death, and it is probable that all his coins here found 
may have been struck during the life of Alfred. There are, however, 
forty-five coins of Edward, the successor of Alfred ; he died in 924, 
and this is the very latest year in which any of the coins here discovered 
could have been struck. While, then, these coins prove that the inter- 
ment must have taken place after the death of Alfred, the smallness 
of the number — forty-five — leads to the presumption that it took place 
very soon after his death, probably not later than the year 910." In 
this supposition the writer may have affixed too early a date to the 
deposit. It must be borne in mind that Hawkins wrote in ignorance 
of the evidence which seems to connect Athelstan's defeat of Anlaf with 
this part of Lancashire. While, too, the year 924 is the last date on 
which any of the Saxon coins could have been minted, the year 928 is 
given by Hawkins himself as the latest possible date of one of the 
French types represented here ; and some of the Scandinavian series 
were of the same period. As the treasure most probably belonged to 
an army of the Danes, the coins would not be likely to include the 


last Saxon coins in circulation on their arrival in Lancashire. Thus the 
treasure may as well have belonged to the chiefs who invaded England 
in the years 934-7 as to predatory bands of the same race that might 
have infested the Lancashire coasts some twenty years earlier. 

The articles of Mr. Hawkins on this treasure were supplemented 
by communications to the Numismatic Chronicle from Mr. Daniel H. 
Haigh, an accomplished Manchester numismatist, and from M. Adrien 
de Longperier, of Paris. Mr. J. Yonge Akerman comments upon 
several of the English coins embraced in the foregoing enumeration 
of the Cuerdale examples. The third sovereign here represented is 
Ciolwlf, King of Mercia, of whose mint there are two coins. Akerman 
says : " Of the pennies of Ciolwlf, who seized the kingdom on the 
deposition of Burgred (a.d. 874), there are several varieties which are 
rare. Some of them were struck at Canterbury, and have Dorobernia 
Cibiias on the reverse.'" Of the coins of Alfred the same authority 
remarks : " Many of the coins of Aelfred (Alfred) found with the large 
hoard at Cuerdale, in Lancashire, a short time since, have the portrait 
with a monogram on the reverse /" and he figures an example " which, 
instead of the name Aelfred, as usual around that bust, has the word 
Heribert." "There were half-pennies of Aelfred discovered at Cuerdale." 
Two examples are given — "one bearing the name of the place of mintage, 
Orsnaforda ; the other with an unintelligible inscription. Barbarous 
imitations of pennies of the London type also occurred in the 
Cuerdale find, and among them the examples engraved." " There was 
also a type of Alfred, the florid ornaments of which seem to have been 
suggested by the devices of one of the coins of Offa.'" It has been 
noted that there are no fewer than 867 coins of King Alfred in the 
Cuerdale list. Forty-five coins are counted of the succeeding prince, 
Eadweard, on which Akerman WTites : " The pennies of Eadweard the 
Elder are interesting, though of rude execution. There are many 
varieties. Some have the representation of a building ; others, a flower 
in a compartment of the reverse ; and the hand of Providence, a type 
derived from the Byzantine artists, appears on a third variety. But two 
specimens of his half-pennies are known.'" The coins of the next 
Saxon monarch, the martyred and canonised St. Eadmund, King of the 
East Angles, are 1770 in number, the most numerous of any English 
mint represented in the Cuerdale hoard. Following these are a few 
coins of the ecclesiastics, Archbishops Ceolnoth and Fhlegmund. 

The observations of Worsaae, the Danish antiquary, upon the 
Scandinavian, French, and other foreign coins, in the collection, are 
learned and valuable : — 

] Anc. and Mod. Coins, p. 113. 2 lb. p. 117. 3 lb. p. 119. 4 lb. p. 119. 


Among the coins, besides a single Byzantine piece, were found several Arabic or 
Kufic, some of north Italy, about a thousand French, and two thousand eight hundred 
Anglo-Saxon pieces, of which only eight hundred were of Alfred the Great. But the 
chief mass, namely, three thousand pieces, consisted of peculiar coins, with the 
inscriptions " Siefredus Rex," " Sievert Rex," "Cnut Rex," "AlfdenRex," and 
"Sitric Comes" (jarl) ; and which, therefore, merely from their preponderating 
number, may be supposed to be the most common coins at that time, and in that part 
of north England where the treasure had been concealed. Cnut's coins were the most 
numerous, as they amounted to about two thousand pieces, of different dies ; which 
proves a considerable and long-continued coining. Not only are the names of Sitric 
(Sigtryg), Alfden (Halvdan), Cnut (Knud), Sievert (Sivard), and Siefred (Sigfred) 
visibly of Scandinavian origin, but they also appear in ancient chronicles as the names 
of mighty Scandinavian chiefs, who in the ninth and tenth centuries ravaged the 
western lands. Sitric Comes is certainly that Sitric Jarl, who fell in a battle in 
England about the year 900. Alfden is undoubtedly the same King " Halfden" who 
at the close of the ninth century so often harried South England — where he even 
besieged London, till he fell in the battle of Wednesfield, in 910. Cnut, whose name 
is found inscribed on the coins in such a manner that one letter stands on each of the 
four arms of a cross, while the inscription REX (Rex) is enclosed between them, is 
probably he whom the Danes called "Knud Daneast " (or Danes' Joy), a son of the 
first Danish monarch, Gorm the Old ; as it is truly related of him that he perished in 
Vesterviking (the Western lands). Sigfrid must either have been the celebrated viking, 
for whose adventurous expedition France, and its capital, Paris, in particular, had to 
pay dearly ; or that Sigefert, or Sigfred, who, in the year 897, ravaged the English 
coasts with an army of Danes from Northumberland. The steady connection which 
the vikings in England maintained with France, affords a material explanation why 
their coins were imitations both of contemporary English, or Anglo-Saxon, and 
of French coins. Thus on the reverse of Cnut's coins just mentioned, we sometimes 
find the inscription " Elfred Rex," which is purely Anglo-Saxon ; and sometimes the 
particular mark for Carolus, or Charles (Karl), which otherwise is only found on the 
French Carlovingian coins. A very frequent inscription on the Scandinavian coins 
here alluded to is " Ebraice Civita," or "The City of York," whose ancient name 
" Eadhroig, " and in the barbarous Latin of the time "Eboracum," was converted 
into "Ebraice." On other contemporary coins struck at York, namely, on some 
of what is called St. Peter's money, York is also called ' ' Ebraice " and ' ' Ebraicit. " 
For the Cuerdale coins, in order to express the name "Ebraice," coins of French 
kings of the city of "Ebroicas," or Evreux, in Normandy, seem to have been 
particularly chosen as patterns ; for, by a slight change of a few letters, this Ebroicas 
could be converted into Ebraice, which was the easier process at a time when the art 
of stamping coins was not much practised. An additional proof that these coins were 
really minted by Scandinavian kings in Northumbria, and in the city of York, is, that 
none such have been found in any other part of England ; whilst, on the contrary, 
one of Canute's coins, which have been so frequently mentioned, was dug up, together 
with English and French coins of the same kind as those found at Cuerdale, at 
Harkirke, near Crosby, also in Lancashire ; and consequently at places whose names 
ending in kirke (church), and by (town), bear witness no less than that of Cuerdale 
(from dal, a valley), to the dominion of the Northmen in these parts. Should any 
doubt still exist that, so early as the ninth century, Danish-Norwegian Kings and 
Jarls minted a considerable number of coins in York, in imitation of contemporary 
Anglo-Saxon and French coins, it is at all events certain that the Northumbrian 


A^ an exposition of the degree of skill attained in the manufacture 
of jewelry and other silversmith's work at the period of the deposit, the 
Cuerdale treasure is exceedingly useful. 

The ornaments accompanying are of various kinds, but the silver 
armlets and portions of armlets are the most numerous. They exhibit 
many diversities of shape, workmanship, and embellishment. Upwards 
of forty of these armlets and parts of armlets are engraved by Hawkins. 
Some of them are almost beautiful in design ; others are little more than 
thin bands of silver narrowing to the ends, where the circle is formed 
by the twisting of the wires. The following may be taken as a type 
of the ruder forms : — " A small armlet, probably not quite finished, 
having been merely hammered into form, the edges and sides still rough 
and sharp, and retaining traces of the hammer ; it is almost entirely 
without ornament. It is perfectly flat, broad at the middle, becoming 
gradually narrower towards the extremities, where it terminates in blunt 
round ends. Armlets of this description vary in breadth at the middle 
from )^ of an inch to i }{, and perhaps more ; it is probable that they 
did not quite encircle the arm, the ends being, when worn, at some 
distance from each other. Sometimes the ends were elongated, and 
rounded into the form of a thick wire, and twisted together into various 
forms." The ornamentation consists for the most part of parallel 
indented lines, producing a ribbed appearance, zigzags or lozenges 
punched into the metal ; in some examples the punches are mere dots 
or small rings ; in others the form of the stamp is more artistic. " The 
patterns are numerous, but the fomis of the punches are very few, the 
variations being produced by combining the forms of more punches than 
one, or by placing the same or differently formed punches at a greater 
or less distance from each other, or by varying their direction. Patterns 
of the period and localities to which these ornaments belong are scarcely 
ever found finished by casting or chasing ; it would appear also that the 
use of solder, to unite the various parts of objects, was either little 
known or little practised, for the ends of these ornaments are tied 
together, and upon other occasions, where union is necessary, rivets are 
employed." The punches, besides the blunt chisel punch and the 
zigzag, are annular, heart-shaped, egg-shaped, triangular, crescent, 
quatrefoil, conical, &c., and although the tool is in all cases more os less 
rude, the varieties of pattern produced by them on the outer surfaces 
of these primitive jewels are very considerable. 


During an occupancy of some five centuries as the dominant race, 
from the period of their advent in the beginning of the si.xth century to 


CUERDALE. [Page 40 

i ^ J • *♦ • i 


the Norman Conquest in the eleventh, the Anglo-Saxon colonists in 
Lancashire had settled to the pursuit of husbandry upon the patches of 
land they had reclaimed from the natural wilderness. Evidence of the 
Saxon appropriation of lands in the district is supplied in the existing 
nomenclature of townships and smaller territorial divisions, which is 
essentially Anglo-Saxon. If, which must be supposed, the population of 
the preceding Romano-British epoch had made some impression upon 
the soil in the way of cultivation, and had established fixed dwellings 
upon, and proprietory rights in, the restricted portions of the land then 
cleared from the forest, the Saxons and Angles, when seizing upon these 
lands as the victor's perquisite, not only dispossessed the British settler 
but discarded or ignored the name given to the British settlement, and 
substituted a new series of names of localities based upon the language 
of the intruding races. Thus, with rare exceptions, the Roman and 
British names of places in use for ages before the Saxon Conquest were 
dropped and forgotten, and the fresh terms of topographical description 
were invented, which in modified forms have survived to this day, and, 
being stereotyped in popular use, must now endure to the end of England's 

Unless in the names of the two local rivers, Darwen and Calder, and 
the range of hills to portions of which the name of Billinge is given, it 
would be difficult to discover the most faint traces of the aboriginal 
nomenclature in the modern names of places within this parish. Darwen 
is thought to be derived from the British terms Dwr-giuyn, meaning, the 
Clear Water ; and Calder from Col-dwr, Narrow Water. Billinge is also 
imagined to be British, but the root of the word is not suggested. The 
Saxons did not attempt to change the name of the river Darwen, but in 
the Saxonised form of DernvetU retained it and applied it to two of their 
settlements upon the banks of that stream, Over Derwent and Nether 
Derwent. The other names of the ancient manors, or landed occu- 
pancies, in Blackburn Parish have a Saxon root-meaning more or less 
distinct. The central town of Blackburn is named from A.S. Blac-burne, 
meaning Dark (or opaque) Brook — descriptive of its stream. In the 
same township occurs Audley, apparently from the Saxon words ^Eld-ley, 
Old Field (or place); Whitebirk, from Hwite-byrc, the White (or silver) 
Birch ; Beardwood, probably from Beorh-wuda, the Wood on the Hill. 
The Anglo-Saxon word Tun, a residence, or homestead, modernised to 
Town, was frequently used in the naming of places, with some distinguish- 
ing prefix ; and several of the townships in Blackburn Parish thus 
obtained their nomenclature, namely, Billington, the town on Billinge ; 
Osbaldeston, the settlement of Osbald or Oswald ; Balderstone, an altered 
form of Osbaldeston ; Pleasington, the seat or homestead of Plesyng ; 



Witton, the place of one Wyta, it may be ; Clayton, perhaps named from 
the character of its subsoil, CliBg-tun, the clayey place ; and Walton, 
which may have been composed of the two words, WeaH-iitn, the walled 
settlement, indicating that it was held as a fortified post in the Saxon as 
well as in the Roman colonisation. Rishton may be taken to have been 
compound oi Rise, A.S. a rush, and tun, that is, the place of rushes, — a 
description still accurate of the partially-recovered bog-land of Rishton 
Moor. The Saxon termination of bury (byri, a city or burgh), implying 
a settlement made strong for defence, is exampled locally in Salesbury 
and Samlesbury, townships in the Ribble Valley. Harwood, the name 
of two townships in the parish (Great and Little), is deducible from Hara- 
wuda, the wood or covert of hares ; doubtless a part of that extensive 
woodland which is recorded to have covered the hills in the centre of 
the parish at the date of the Conquest. Ramsgreave, the next township 
to the west of Little Harwood, receives its name, probably, from Romms, 
a Saxon family name, and grcef, a grove, and implying, the grove or 
greave of Romms or Romes. Wilpshire, a township on the hill south of 
Billington, was anciently spelt Wilipscyre or Wilpshire, and may mean the 
share of Wilip, from the Saxon Scyre, a shire or share. In the names of 
Dinkley and Eccleshill townships appear the Saxon affixes ley, a field, and 
hull, a hill, and the first part of both names may enshrine those of the 
ancient settlers in these places. The derivation of the names of three 
other townships in the parish, namely, those of Livesey, Tockholes, and 
Mellor, is not so evident. Livesey and Tockholes sound like Saxon 
words, but Mellor has a hint of Danish, and the heights of Mellor may at 
one period have been held by the Danes of West Lancashire as an out- 
post of their fortified places in Lower Ribblesdale.' The word dale is 
Danish, the Saxon equivalent being deen, as in Hoddlesden, Haslingden, 
and Baxenden more to the east ; and a reminiscence of Scandinavian 
tenure on the west side of the parish is therefore found in the names of 
Clayton-in-le-Dale, Oxendale, Cuerdale, and Walton-in-le-Dale ; as well 
as in the name of the Ribbleside estate of Sunderland in Osbaldeston. 
The mixed Saxon and Danish nomenclature of the valley of the Ribble 
between Salesbury and Penwortham points to the inference that this was 
for a period contested ground by the Saxons of the hill district of East 
Lancashire and the Danes of the coastward plains of Leyland and 

In the names of numerous places of early settlement within townships 
the Saxon element is visible, ex. gr. : — Revidge, Royshaw, Oosebooth, 

I Respecting the derivation of the names of Mellor and Harwood, Mr. T. T. Wilkinson, a good 
authority in Lancashire etymology, suggests ; — " I should derive Mellor from the Keltic moel-ar the 
place or speculum {ar) upon (moel) the round hill. Harwood might also come from hlgher-wooA, or 
liar (gray) wood : as well as from the words given in the text." 



and Peel in Blackburn township ; Langho, Cunliffe, Braddyll, Brockhole, 
Hacking, Elcar, Nabbe, and Snodworth in Billington ; Showley, in Clay- 
ton-le-Dale; Green Lowe, Astley, Tumcroft, and Sunnihurst in Over 
Darwen ; Th'Hurcroft, Oakenhurst, and Feamhurst in Lower Darwen ; 
Martholme, Overton, and Netherton in Great Harwood ; Bankhey in 
Little Harwood ; Feniscliffe, Whithalgh, Moorgate, and Ewood (Hey- 
wood), in Livesey ; Arleys and Stanley in Mellor ; Stidlehurst in Osbal- 
deston ; Feniscowles in Pleasington ; Tottlevvorth, the Holt, Mickle Heys, 
and Sidebight in Rishton ; Loveley, in Salesbury ; Huntley, and Sower- 
butts, in Samlesbury ; Lowe, and Red Lee, in Tockholes ; Brownedge in 
Walton ; Pyethome in Wilpshire ; and in the names of the united town- 
ship of Yate and Pickop Bank. 



Lancashire in the time of Edward the Confessor — The Norman Invasion and Conquest — March of the 
Norman Army across the County— The Domesday Survey — Lordship of De Lacy in Blackburn- 
shire — Ancient Ecclesiastical record of the district — Landed tenures in the reign of Henry IL — 
Foundation of Whalley Abbey — The Great De Lacy Inquisition — Tenants of the First Duke of 
Lancaster — John of Gaunt's estate in Blackburnshire — Wars of the Roses — Capture of Henry VI. 
near Clitheroe — Rewards to his captors — Fall of Richard III, at Bosworth Field. 

\ T the commencement of the eleventh century the Lancashire terri- 
/~\ tories were under the sway of two powerful nobles. The northern 
half of the county, to the line of the Ribble, was portion of the Danish 
earldom of Northumbria. The part to the south of the Ribble, des- 
cribed as "Terra inter Ripam et Mershatn" (the land between Ribble 
and Mersey), was attached to the earldom of Mercia or Chester. Wol- 
fric. Earl of Chester, by his will, dated a.d. 1004, devised his lands 
between the Ribble and the Mersey to his sons Elfhelme and Walfarge, 
subject to a payment by each of 3,000 sceattas. But in the reign of 
Edward the Confessor the territories between Ribble and Mersey had 
passed into royal possession ; they had, in fact, been sequestrated by 
Canute. The position of King Edward in relation to the bulk of these 
lands was that of superior lord, but certain particular estates were in 
immediate tenure of the Crown. In Blackburnshire this Saxon King 
had several estates under his direct control, and of which he drew the 
revenues. Ecclesiastically, the region of South Lancashire was a part 
of the diocese of Lichfield, and remained so until the Reformation, when 
the diocese of Chester was constituted. 

In 1 05 1, William, Duke of Normandy, came to England on a state 
visit to Edward, accompanied by a great array of Norman followers. 
Edward received him with profuse honours and hospitalities. William 
found the country swarming with Normans, occupying every post of 



authority and trust, and everything apparently favourable to the usurpa- 
tion he had then resolved upon. Edward had before this entered into 
a secret engagement with William that the latter should succeed him 
upon the throne of England. This compact was viewed with aversion 
by many of his subjects, who rallied to the leadership of Harold, son of 
Godwin, Saxon Earl of Wessex. Edward the Confessor died in Feb- 
ruary, 1066, and the popular voice promptly declared Harold should be 
King. On hearing of this, Duke William immediately began his prepa- 
rations for the invasion of England. The army of invasion was consti- 
tuted, not of Normans alone, but of " all the professional adventurers 
and all the military vagabonds of Western Europe." The Norman 
army of 60,000 men landed at Pevensey Bay, near Hastings, and on the 
13th of October, 1066, the battle of Hastings was fought. By the 
superior tactics of the Normans, the English were defeated. Harold 
and his brothers fell in the thickest of the battle, and in the space of 
one brief autumn day the domain of England passed into the hands of 
a new race, to whom the native English were doomed to pay the duty 
of perpetual servitude. William was crowned by his Nonnans King of 
England in Westminster Abbey, on Christmas Day of that same year. 
William and his barons now proceeded with the work of partitioning the 
lands of the English amongst themselves. Royal Commissioners 
traversed the country in every direction, and made careful inventories of 
every kind of property. To enforce a sweeping sequestration, the 
Conqueror's troops ravaged the kingdom with atrocious severity. 

Lancashire was among the last of English territories to feel the 
scourge of the Norman visitation. Many, indeed, of its bravest men must 
have participated and perished in the final bitter conflict for national 
existence ; but the western parts of Northumbria and Mercia were out 
of the direct track of conquest. Not until the year 1070 was the 
county entered by a Norman force. It was the followers of the banner 
of De Lacy, to whom the earldom of Pontefract had fallen, that were 
the first to penetrate our mountain barrier, and to seize upon some 
portion of land in East Lancashire. " The great domain of Pontefract," 
writes Thierry, " the spot where the Norman troops had forded the 
river Aire, was the share of Gilbert de Lacy, who, following the example 
of nearly all the other Norman captains, built a strong castle there. It 
appears that this Gilbert was the first who with his troops passed the 
mountains west of York and invaded the adjoining county of Lancaster, 
which then formed part of Cheshire. He appropriated to himself in 
this county an immense territory, the chief town of which was Black- 
bum, and which extended south and east to the borders of Yorkshire. 
To form this great domain, he expelled, according to an ancient tradition, 


all the English proprietors from Blackburn, Rochdale, Tottington and 
the vicinity. Before the conquest, says the tradition, all these pro- 
prietors were free, equal in rights, and independent of each other ; but 
after the Norman invasion, there was in the whole county but one lord.'" 
Soon aftenvards, William himself, having finished the work of subjugation 
in the east of Northumbria, resolved upon the capture of Chester, the 
sole remaining city of any note which had not yet received a Norman 
garrison. As the King was preparing to start from York on this expedi- 
tion, he learned that a feeling of strong repugnance to the enterprise 
pervaded his soldiery. According to Ordericus Vitalis, the Norman 
army had been alarmed by exaggerated accounts of the difficulties 
of the country between York and Chester, and of the "terrible fierceness 
of the enemy" in this region. Having overcome this opposition by 
lavish promises of rewards in lands and other property to those who 
assisted in this new conquest, William marched over the Pennine 
mountains to the city on the Dee. It is natural to suppose that the 
main body of the Norman army, following in the footsteps of De Lac/s 
men, would take the route through Craven into Ribblesdale, the most 
open of the passes through the hill ranges of the eastern border 
of Lancashire ; and it is something more than a vague conjecture that 
the great Conqueror himself rode, at the head of his martial array, 
through the length of our Hundred while upon this journey. Ordericus 
Vitalis writes that in this march the Norman leader made his way with 
unwearied vigour "through roads never before travelled by horses, across 
lofty mountains and deep valleys, rivers, and rapid streams, and danger- 
ous quagmires in the hollows of the hills. Pursuing their track, they 
were often distressed by torrents of rain, sometimes mingled with hail. 
At times they were reduced to feed on the flesh of horses which perished 
in the bogs. The King often led the way on foot with great agility, and 
lent a ready hand to assist others in their difficulties." The result 
of this laborious march was the immediate occupation of Chester and 
of all the Mercian country on both sides of the river Mersey. 

From the statement above it would appear that the first Norman 
possessor of Blackbumshire was Gilbert, or Ilbert, de Lacy, whose 
major acquisition was the lordship of Pontefract in Yorkshire. Other 
early records, however, state that Blackburn Hundred, with the rest 
of Lancashire, was in the first instance conferred upon the Norman Earl 
Roger dfr Montgomery, better known in English annals as Roger de 
Poictou. The grant is believed to have been made about the year 1068. 
This Roger of Poictou was the third son of Roger, Viscount of Mont- 
gomery. His services to the Conqueror were recompensed by the 

1 Conq. of £ngl.. trans, by Hazlict. v, i, p. 229. 


earldom of Lancashire, the superior lordship of almost the whole county, 
and near 200 manors in other parts of the country. Apparently, Ilbert 
de Lacy, although a baron in Yorkshire, held his estates in East 
Lancashire, at the first, under Roger de Poictou as superior lord. This, 
at least, is the simplest explanation that suggests itself of the discrepancy 

The memorable survey of landed tenures in England, undertaken 
by order of William the Conqueror, the record of which is contained in 
Z'^/««(/(y .5(7,?/', was begun about the year 1080, and finished in 1086. 
The passage relating to the Hundred of Blackburn is found in the survey 
of lands between the Mersey and Ribble. The " King Edward" alluded 
to is Edward the Confessor, the last Saxon King of England according 
to the Normans, who refused to recognise the brief sovereignty of 
Harold. The following is an English version of the entry relating to 
the district : — 

King Edward held Blachebunie. There are two hides and two carucates of land. 
Of this land the church had two carucates of land ; and the Church of St. Mary in 
Whalleij two c-irucates, both of them free of all customs. In the same manor there is 
a woo<l one league long and the same broad, and there was an aery of hawks. To this 
manor or hundred were attached twenty-eight freemen, holding five hides and a half 
and forty carucates of land for twenty-eight manors. There is a wood there six leagues 
long and four broad, and the manors were all subject to the above customs. In the 
same hundretl King Edward had Ilimicot (Huncoat), two carucates of land, and Wale- 
#Mnc(\Valton-in-le-Dale)two carucates, and rcHi7<«««(Pendleton)half ahide. Thewhole 
manor, with the hundred, yielded the king a farm rent of thirty two pounds and two 
shillings. Roger de Poictou gave all this land to Roger de Busli and Albert Greslet, and 
there are so many men who have eleven carucates and a half ; to whom they have 
granted freedom (from all customs) for three years, wherefore it is not now valued. 

Unfortunately for the precision of our knowledge bf the topography 
of the district in the eleventh century, the Norman surveyors made a 
much less particular report on the Hundred of Blackburn than was usual 
with them in describing other districts. Of twenty-eight manors in the 
Hundred held by freemen at the Concjuest none are named in the survey. 
Only the names of the four Royal manorial estates of Blackburn, Hun- 
coat, Walton and Pendleton are sijecified. The names of the Saxon 
freeholders under the last of the Saxon Kings are unrecorded, and the 
territorial nomenclature of the period is left to be doubtfully gathered 
from later historical references. In the Parish of Blackburn, Blackburn 
and Walton-in-le-Dale are entered as Royal Manors under Saxon rule. 
How many of the twenty-eight other manors of the Hundred were con- 
tained within the Parish of Blackburn cannot be exactly made out ; but 
we know from other sources that the larger townships of Billington, Sales- 
bury, Clayton-in-le-Uale, Osbaldeston, Samlesbury and Pleasington, and 


probably Harwood, Rishton and Livesey, have embraced manors in fee 
under the chief lords of the Honor from the beginning of the Norman 
appropriation, and it may be inferred that the Saxon manors within the 
parish were generally identical with the Norman manorial tenures that 

Some explanation of obsolete terms employed in Domesday Book 
may be useful to the general reader. The hide of land was originally a 
Saxon measure, and signified as much arable land as would suffice to 
support one family. Obviously the extent of the hide must have varied 
according to the quality and situation of the land, and thus it has been 
found impossible to fix any measure as the uniform equivalent of the 
Saxon hide. The cariicaie in South Lancashire was equal to the sixth 
part of a hide, in other parts of England it was but one-twelfth. The 
meaning of the term is, as much land as could be tilled by one plough, 
from the Latin cariica, a plough. Dr. Whitaker says that in Blackburn 
Hundred the manors averaged about one and a half carucates each ; 
that the "oxgang" was sixteen acres, and the carucate 128 acres, or 
eight oxgangs. This gives an average area of the twenty-eight private 
manors of Blackburnshire of 192 acres each. 

The tenure of the earldom of Lancaster, with its valuable appurte- 
nances, was not long retained by Roger de Poictou. In the year 1074, 
during the King's absence in Normandy, a conspiracy was formed to 
dethrone him, and to separate England into three kingdoms — those of 
Northumbria, Mercia, and Wessex. The three principal agents in this 
sedition were Roger de Poictou, Waltheof, Earl of Northumberland (an 
English noble who had made his peace with the Norman), and Adolphus, 
Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk. Between these it was intended that the 
country should be divided. William's prompt return to England discon- 
certed the conspiracy, and the foiled plotters paid the penalty of their 
ambition, Waltheof with his life, and Roger de Poictou by the forfeiture 
of his English estates and banishment from the country. The Norman 
monarch himself assumed the proprietorship of the Lancashire lands of 
which his rebellious noble had been deprived, and they were kept as 
royalties until the King's death in 1087. 

The rise of the town and fortress of Clitheroe dates from the first 
years of the Norman tenure of East Lancashire. It was then that 
Clitheroe became the seat of local authority, and gave its designation to 
the " Honor of Clitheroe," which embraced the older division of Black- 
burnshire, along with portions of other Hundreds in Lancashire and 
Yorkshire. The Norman fortress at Clitheroe was built either by Ilbert 
de Lacy in the reign of William I., or by his son Robert in the reign of 
William Rufus. The De Lacy family, whose representatives figure con- 


spicuously in the local history of the next two centuries, came from the 
Department of Calvadas, in Normandy ; and their name, originally spelt 
De Lascy, was derived from a place called Lassi, in the French province. 
The history of the Honor of Clitheroe, — which passed from the Lacies 
by marriage of an heiress to Henry Earl of Lancaster, and remained an 
appanage of the Earldom and Dukedom of Lancaster and of the Crown 
on the addition of the duchy to the titular dignities of the Monarch, 
until it was granted to General Monk, Duke of Albemarle, by Charles 
the Second, — has been written circumstantially by the historian Whitaker, 
and therefore need not be repeated in these pages. With the Honor 
of Clitheroe was associated the judicatory rights of the Wapentake of 
Blackburn, whose ancient court has but recently been abolished. 

A Latin manuscript, supposed to have been written about the year 
1347 by John Lyndelay, one of the Abbots of Whalley, contains a curious 
account, compiled probably from local traditions extant at the time, of 
the primitive circumstances of the district, both as respects its ecclesias- 
tical and its civil settlements. This ancient document, which Whitaker 
styles De Statu Blagborneshire — " Concerning the State of Blackburn- 
shire" — was translated by the late Mr. Harland for the new edition of the 
History of La7washire} All that need be recited here are passages refer- 
ring to the first Christian foundations in the district and to the local 
manors of the Saxon period : — 

Be it remembered, that in. the time of Ethelbert, King of the English, who 
began to reign A. D. 596, the blessed Augustine, the Apostle of the English, sent by 
the blessed Pope Gregory, in the third year of his papacy, at the instance and request 
of the said Kmg, preached in England, and taught the Christian faith. There was at 
Whalley in Blackbomeshire a certain parish church built in honour of all saints, in the 
cemetery of which church were certain stone crosses then erected and called by the 
people the crosses of the blessed Augustine, which under the same name exist there to 
this day ; and the above-named church was called, at that time, " The White Church 
under the Legh. " Within the bounds and limits of the said parish church were com- 
prised, at the time, all Blagborneshire and all Boland, and so it endured for many 
years. After these things, the devotion of the faithful increasing, and the number of 
believers in those parts being augmented, there were built other three churches in 
Blagborneshire, — ramely, the Church of Blagbome, the Church of Chepen, and the 
Church of Ribchester, — the parishes of these churches being distinct, and marked out 
in certain limits on all sides, as they have continued to be to the present time, and are 
well known to all in those parts. In those times, while the said churches had thus 
been built, there was not, in Blackbomeshire, at Cliderhowe, or elsewhere, a castle 
built, nor any chapel whatever besides the above-named churches, nor any lord who 
had ever claimed the patronage of the said churches, or of any of them ; but each 
rector held and possessed the land and vill in which his church was situated, as the 
endowment of his church ; and governed his church, so endowed, as if it were his own 
patrimony and inheritance ; and freely appointed his successor from among his sons or 

I Vol. 2, pp. 1-3. 


friends, acceptance or institution by the Bishop of Lichfield then taking place ; and, 
for a long time, the Rectors of Whalley and of Blagborne were for the most part mar- 
ried men, and the lords of vills. And those of Whalley were called deans, not parsons 
— the cause of which is thought likely to be, that at the time of the founding of this 
church, and through times long subsequent, the people of those parts were so sparse, 
and so untamed and wild, and moreover, there was such a multitude of foxes and hurt- 
fill beasts, and the place also seemed so inaccessible to men, that alike the Bishops for 
the time being, and their officials, left and continually committed the whole jurisdiction 
(pertaining to the office of common deans) over the ordinaries of these parishes, to the 
aforesaid rectors, on account of the inconvenience specified ; the more difficult and 
weighty causes, indeed, being reserved for the Bishop. Who held this lordship of 
Blagbomeshire before the time of the said King William is not stated with certainty in 
the chronicles. Common opinion holds and asserts, that as many as were the vills or 
mansions, or the manors of men, so many were the lords, not only in Blagbomeshire, 
but also Rachdale, Tottington, and Boland, and all the adjacent neighbourhood, of 
which none was held from another, but all in chief from the lord King himself. 

In the reign of Henry II., and about a century after the Conquest, 
the names of several townships in Blackburn Parish appear in existing 
documents. For example, Gospatric, lord of Samlesbury, founded the 
Chapel of Samlesbury about the year 1190. In the twelfth century, the 
name of Rishton is found as the seat of a branch of the family of De 
Blackbums, the members of which changed the family name on their 
change of residence to De Rishton. The manor of Great Harwood is 
mentioned early in the same century as the gift of Henry de Lacy to 
Richard de Fitton, Justice of Chester. In the reign of Henry II., who 
died in 1 1 89, the two Darewents (Upper and Nether Darwen), Melver 
(Mellor), Heccleshall (Eccleshill), and Harawuda (Harwood), are given 
in documents as members of the Knight's Fee of Walton, granted by 
Henry II. to Robert Banastre, founder of the great house of Banastre of 
Walton. Billington township is named so early as the reign of Stephen, 
who died in 1 154. Osbaldeston is named in deeds of the reign of Henry 
II. ; and the townships of Wilpshire, Dinkley, Cuerdale, Salesbury, Tock- 
holes, Pleasington, and Witton not much later. So that the settled lands 
of the Parish soon after the Norman occupation may be generally identi- 
fied with the modem townships, and their anterior definition and appor- 
tionment may be assumed, the silence of Domesday notwithstanding. 

The following extracts from the Liber Feodorum (Book of Fees), 
compiled by Ralph de Nevill in the reign of Henry III., have reference 
to the landed tenures in this parish : — 


The same heir holds in the lord's chief manor one knight's fee in Waleton and 
Blakebumscire of the fe e of the Earl of Lincoln, and he in chief of the lord the king ; 
the land hitherto is in custody and belongs to the dower of the Countess of Lincoln. 



Pees of the heir of the earl of Lincoln in blakeburnscire. 

Inquisitors of the Wapentake of Blakeburnscire : — Simon le Harris, Adam de 
Blakebum, Adam Noel, Henry de Cleyton, Adam de Billinton, William de Calde- 
cotes, John de Wynketley, and Richard de Katlauhe. 

LiVESEY, Acton, and Merley. — Ralph de Mitton holds the fourth part of 
a knight's fee in Acton, Merley, and Liveshey, of the demesne fee, and it belongs to 
the dower of the Countess. 

RiSHTON. — Gilbert, the son of Henry, holds the tenth part of a knight's fee in 
Ruston of the demesne fee, and it belongs to the dower of the Countess. Adam de 
Billinton holds half a knight's fee in the same of the demesne fee, and it belongs to 
the dower of the Countess. The heir of Hugh de Alvetham holds the eighth part 
of a knight's fee in the same of the demesne fee, and it belongs to the dower of the 

Harwood. — Hugh Fiton holds the fourth part of a knight's fee in Harwood 
of the demesne fee. Henry de Cleyton holds the eighth part of a knight's fee in the 
same of the demesne fee. 

Under the head of Inquisition of the Earldom of Lancaster, I find 
the following : — m 

Roger de Laci holds five knight's fees of the fee of Cliderhow, which was in the 
hand of the lord the King. 

Under the head of Drengages are these entries : — 

Harwood. — Roger de Samelisbury and Alexander [de Harwood] hold six 
carucates in Harewood of the aforesaid [Robert Greslet's] knight's fee. . . . 
Roger de Samelisburi and Alexander de Harewood hold one oxgang of land in 
Chappels [Sharpies] by [a rent of] 8s., of Robert Gredle [Greslet]. 

Edmund de Lacy, Lord of Clitheroe Honor, who died in 1258, 
was found by escheat to have possessed, among his many estates in 
Lancashire and Yorkshire, the manor and lands in Blackburn Parish 
that follow: — Rishton manor, lands in Salesbuyre, Livysay, Samlesburye, 
Osbaldeston, Clayton, Dinkedley and Wolipshire. 


By much the most notable event in the local history during the 
thirteenth century, was the foundation of the Monastery at Whalley 
by the Fraternity of Cistercian Monks previously domiciled at Stanlaw, 
in Cheshire. With the history of that Monastery, from its erection until 
its dissolution, a period of about two centuries and a half, the ecclesias- 
tical affairs of Blackburn Parish are intimately associated ; while the 
endowments of Whalley Abbey included extensive territorial properties 
and rights of lordship within the parish. Prior to the translation from 
Stanlaw to Whalley, the Church of Blackburn and its dependent Chapels, 
with ample glebe and other lands in Blackburn, had been bestowed 
upon the Abbot and Monks of this fraternity by members of the De 
Lacy family, founders and chief patrons of the Monastery. Particulars 


of these endowments will be hereafter furnished in the accounts to be 
inserted of the Parish Church and ancient dependent Chapels of the 
parish. In the year 1283, Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, finding that 
the original house of the Fraternity at Stanlaw had suffered greatly by 
its exposed situation on the estuary of the Mersey, and was threatened 
with total destruction, resolved upon the removal of the foundation to 
Whalley, and to facilitate the transfer, granted to the Monastery the 
advowson of Whalley Church. In 1289, in answer to a petition 
of the Abbot and Monks, Pope Nicholas IV. by his bull authorised 
the proposed translation. Boniface VIIL, the succeeding Pope, first 
revoked, but eventually confirmed the permission of his predecessor. 
Before, however, the Abbot and Monks of Stanlaw could enter into 
possession of the benefice and patronage of Whalley, the death of the 
holder of the rectory, Peter de Cestria, had to take place. This event 
occurred in the year 1294, and shortly after the Abbot of Stanlaw 
removed his quarters to Whalley, bringing with him the majority of the 
Monks. Stanlaw was retained as a cell to Whalley. On the site 
selected for the new Abbey, on the right bank of the Calder immediately 
to the west of the Parish Church of Whalley, Henry de Lacy laid the 
foundation of the Abbey, June 12th, 1296. The first-completed 
portions of the buildings were consecrated in 1306, but the process 
of extension continued for two centuries, and until within a few years 
of the dismantlement on the dissolution of Monasteries in the reign 
of Henry VIIL Ample annals of this great Cistercian Abbey have 
been published by Whitaker and others, and it is not within the design 
of this history to describe the Abbey fabrics or to rehearse the history 
of the Monastery. Such of its territorial possessions as were contained 
in the townships of Blackburn Parish will be named in the several 
township histories ; but it may be here stated that they included, besides 
the Rectorial and Vicarial Glebes of Blackburn, the lordship of the 
Manor of Billington with appurtenant estates, amounting to the greater 
part of the area of that township ; and considerable lands, with bams, 
mills and messuages in the townships of Pleasington, Mellor, Eccleshill, 
Witton, Livesey, Walton-in-le-Dale, Samlesbury, Balderstone, Salesbury, 
Over Darwen, Wilpshire, Little Harwood, and Ramsgreave. Thus, for 
an extended period, the Abbots of Whalley were the largest landlords 
in Blackburn Parish, and their domains in Whalley Parish and in other 
parts of Lancashire were still more vast and valuable. 


On the 1 6th of February, 13 11, inquisition was taken, by order 
of the Crown, of the situation, extent and value of the estates in 



Lancashire, of which Henry de Lacy, Lord of Clitheroe, deceased a 
year before (February 5th, 1310), had died possessed. Of this account 
Whitaker says that " after the death of the last Earl of Lincoln (De 
Lacy), leaving only a daughter, on whose demise without male issue the 
vast estates were settled upon the Crown, it was thought necessary to 
make a strict and accurate survey." The original Latin copy of this 
Inquisition is not now extant, but an official copy of it, translated into 
English, is contained in an ancient MS. volume among the records 
of the Honor of Clitheroe in the custody of Mr. Dixon Robinson, 
of Clitheroe Castle. The Inquisition has been printed from this copy, 
edited by the late Mr. Harland, in the 74th volume of the Chetham 
Society's series. I cite of this return only such portions as relate to 
estates of De Lacy in the Parish of Blackburn, and to his superior 
lordship over the parish as parcel of Clitheroe Honor. 
The record is headed : — 

Inquisition taken after the Render of Henry de Lacy, late Earl of 
Lincoln, of Lands, Tenements, &c., held of the King, in the 
County of Lancaster, the i6th February, 4TH Edward II. 

The Jury say that Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, had no lands or tenements in 
fee in chief of the King, but that he held all his lands and tenements in the County of 
Lancaster, immediately of the King by the service of fourteen Knights' fees and 
the third part of a Knight's fee, and by the rent of 1055. 8d., payable yearly to the 
Castle Guard of Lancaster, and a certain fee called sak fee, and doing suit to the 
Court held at Tom every six weeks. That King Edward I. granted to the said Earl 
of Lincoln and the heirs of his body all the lands and tenements hereinafter mentioned, 
remainder to Thomas, son of Edmond the King's brother, and to Alice his wife, and 
the heirs of their bodies, remainder to the right heirs of the said Thomas. 

Clitheroe. — That he was seised of the Castle of Clyderhowe with the moat and 
ditches, nothing worth above the reprises. Also of an Orchard under the Castle, with 
a Croft, the herbage of which is yearly worth 2d. There are also 20 acres of demean 
lands demised to several tenants-at-will, each acre yearly worth 4d., — somm 6s. 8d. 
Four and a half acres of Meadow, yearly worth 3s. A Watermill, yearly worth £6 
1 3s. 4d. A Fair on St. Mary Magdalene's day, the toll and profits thereof are yearly 
worth 6s. 8d. The Toll of Clyderhow, Blakebum, and Bowland, yearly worth £4 
13s. 4d. 

The subjoined paragraphs refer to townships in this parish : — 

Rishton and Magna Harwood. — ^Johanna, late the wife of Edmund Talbot, 
held two carucates of land in Risseton, by the fourth of a knight's fee, or the yearly rent 
of IS. and suit of the Court of Clyderhou. William de Haskayth held two carucates 
of land by the service of a knight's fee and the yearly rent of 2s. 6d. and suit of the 
Court aforesaid. 

Blackburn. — ^John Hilton held a carucate and a half in Blackburn freely by 

Li VESEY. — Sir Henry de Bury held Levesay in thanage and paid yearly 29s. at 
the Feast of St. Gyles, and did suit of the Court aforesaid. 


TOCKHOLES. — ^John de Plesyngton and Adam de Tockholes held Tockholes in 
thanage, and did one suit to the aforesaid Court. 

Over Darwen. — The heirs of Samlesbury and of Keuersdale held one carucate 
in On Der^vent, by the service of the eighth of a knight's fee and suit of the Court 
of Clyderhou.-f 

Lower Darwen. — Sir Adam Banestre held two carucates of land in Nether 
Derwent, and paid yearly 2s. lod. 

Walton-in-le-Dale. — Sir John de Langeton held two carucates of land by the 
service of 4s. a year at Midsummer and suit to the Court aforesaid. 

CuERDALE. — Adam de Keuresdale held a carucate in Keuresdale by the service 
of 9s. a year at the Feast of St. Gyles. 

Samlesbury. — Lady Cecill de Evyhus and Lady Elizabeth de Holland held one 
carucate in Samlesbury in thanage, and paid yearly 1 2s. 

Mellor. — Nicholas de Evyas held half a carucate of land in Melore by the 
service of the sixteenth of a knight's fee and paid yearly 8d. 

Clayton-in-le-Dale and Billington. — Sir Adam de Huddelston held 
Clayton and Billington by the service of los. yearly at the Feast of St. Gyles and 3d. 
at Midsummer, and suit to the Court aforesaid. 

WiTTON. — Richard, son of Geffery de Chaterton, held one carucate in Witton by 
the service of the eighth of a knight's fee and the rent of 2s. per annum at Midsummer. 
Adam de Haldeley held an assart and paid yearly id. and suit to the aforesaid Court. 

Salesbury. — Hugh de [Clyderhow] held Salesbury and Little Penhilton in 
thanage, and paid yearly 235. lod. at St. Gyles's Feast and suit of the Court aforesaid. 
Richard de Tyndiheved held n acres in Salesbury, paying yearly id. Richard le 
Sorris held freely a Watermill, paying yearly 6s. 8d. 

DlNKLEY. — Roger de Clyderhow held an oxgang and a third of land in Dynkeley 
in thanage, and paid 2s. and suit of Court. 

Wilpshire. — Bernard de Hackyng held in Whelipshire half an oxgang of land 
in thanage, and paid yearly iid. and suit of Court. Henry de Bradhill held half an 
oxgang of land and a third there in thanage, by the rent of is. per armum and suit 
of Court. Henry de Boulton held one oxgang in thanage by the rent of is. per 
annum and suit of Court. John, son of Walter de Bradhill, held there two oxgangs 
of land in thanage, and paid yearly Is. and suit of Court. 

Fishery in the Ribble. — The said Earl had a separate Fishery in Ribblewater 
in Samewell and Salewell [Sale Wheel] yearly worth 1 2d. Thomas Soroys paid 
yearly to the Earl, by attachments of the Pool at Mitton Mill, 4s. 

The following held their tenements as part of the Dower of the 
Lady Alice de Lacy, but did suit to the three weeks' Court at Cliderhou, 
viz : — 

OsBALDESTON AND Balderstone. — Thomas de Osbaldestone for his tenements 
in Osbaldestone and Balwestone. 

To the above may be added the agistment and winter herbage 
of Hoddlesden Forest and Ramsgreave Chase, reckoned together with 
those of Trawden, Rossendale, and Pendle Forests, as worth yearly in 
total 40s. 

The particulars of the Inquisition are of use in the authentic state- 
ment they embody of the territorial tenures of the parish at that period. 


with the names of the free tenants holding under the last of the De 
Lacys as lords of manors by knight's fee and also in thanage. From 
this time the tenure of most of the chief local landed estates may be 
defined and their passage traced down to present possessors. 

The Honor of Clitheroe or domain of Blackbumshire was the 
possession, in the fourteenth century, of the Earls and Dukes of Lan- 
caster in succession, beginning with Earl Thomas, husband of Alice de 
Lacy, and Henry his brother, father of Henry, first Duke of Lancaster. 
A manuscript printed by Gregson in the Fortfolio of Fragments^ supplies 
a category of tenants of the Duchy of Lancaster in Blackbumshire at 
the period of the tenure of Henry, the first Duke (created a.d. 1352), in 
which the feudal tenants in Blackburn Parish are named as under : — 

Walton-in-le-Dale. — Robert de Langton, knight, holds one knight's fee of 
the Duke of Lancaster in Walton-in-le-Dale, in Blackbumshire, that Robert Banester 
once held of the fee of the Earl Lacy of Lincoln. 

AlGHTON, Mearley, AND LiVESEY. — ^John de Harington, Knight, Thomas de 
Ardem, Adam de Hoghton, Richard de Nevill, and John Bayley hold the fourth part 
of a knight's fee in Aghton, Merley, and Levissay, which Ralph de Mitton once held 
of the fee. 

RisHTON. — ^John de Radcliffe holds of the said duke the tenth part of a knight's . 
fee in Rysheton, which Gilbert, son of Henry, once held. 

BiLLlNGTON. — The Abbot of Whalley holds half a knight's fee in Billington, of 
the demesne of the duke, which Adam de Billington once held. 

Harwood. — William de Hesketh, knight, holds four parts of a knight's fee in 
Harewood of the said duke, which Hugh Fyton once held. 

Salesbury. — The heirs of Richard Clidrowe hold the manor of Salebury of the 
Duke of Lancaster in socage [obligation to plough, &c., the lord's lands], and for the 
service of 38s. 8d. per annum at the Feast of St. Gyles. 

.Samlesbury. — William Lord Lovell, Burnell and de Holand and Richard Soth- 
worth hold of the said duke the manor of Samlesbury in socage for the service of 12s. 
per annum. 

Tockholes, &c. — Richard, son of John de Radcliffe, holds the manor of Urde- 
sale ; a hundred acres in a place called HoUinhed and in Tockholes ; forty acres in 
Salford, &c., all held of the King in chief by knight service for 2s. [per annum.] 

John of Gaunt (Ghent), fourth son of Edward IH., married Blanche, 
second daughter of Henry Duke of Lancaster, who had no male heir ; 
and on the death, in 1362, of Matilda, eldest daughter of Duke Henry 
(who died in 1361), the whole of the estates attached to the Duchy of 
Lancaster and Earldom of Leicester passed to the Lady Blanche, as sole 
heiress of the deceased Duke. Thereupon, her Royal spouse, John of 
Gaunt, was created Duke of Lancaster, and the title was thus perpetuated. 
The wife of Duke John, the Lady Blanche, bore him a son, named 
Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards crowned as Henry IV., and founder 
of the dynastic House of Lancaster. . Duke John of Gaunt had before 

1 Edn. of 1824, App. pp. lix'lx. 


received, on his marriage with Blanche, daughter of Duke Henry, as her 
marriage portion, with other estates, " the Wapentake of Clyderhow, 
with the demesne lands there, the royal bailiwick of Blackburnshire, the 
manors of Tottington and Rochdale, the lordship of Bowland, the vac- 
cary of Bowland and Blackburnshire, the forest of Blackburnshire, and 
park of Ightenhill, with the appurtenances in Blackburnshire.'" Blanche, 
Duchess of Lancaster, died in the year 1369 ; Duke John of Gaunt, in 

Henry of Bolingbroke, who succeeded to the Dukedom, was in 
exile at the date of his sire's demise, having been banished by Richard 
II., and his inheritance sequestrated. But returning to England, and 
placing himself at the head of a powerful disaffected party, Henry easily 
deposed the last of the Plantagenets, and was proclaimed King, with the 
title of Henry IV., on September 29th, 1399. By this elevation, the 
estates of the Duchy of Lancaster, among them the lordship of 
Blackburnshire, became appurtenant to the English Monarchy. 

In that vindictive and ensanguined civil conflict which arose out of 
rival claims of the Dukes of York and of Lancaster — as representatives 
of the elder and younger branches of the stock of Plantagenet — to the 
Crown of England, the men of Lancashire, knights, gentry, and re- 
tainers, strenuously bore their part on one side or the other, and profited or 
suffered by the various events that alternately lifted and sunk the for- 
tunes of the White and the Red Roses. But no significant military pas- 
sage of that long intermittent war, which covered a period of about three 
quarters of a century, had for its scene these hilly parts of North-East 
Lancashire, nor demand, therefore, the notice of the local annalist. 
The great battles of the Wars of the Roses were those of St. Albans (a.d. 
1454), Blore Heath (1459), Northampton (1460), Wakefield (1460), 
Mortimer's Cross (1461), Towton (1461), Hexham (1464), Bamet(i 471), 
Tewkesbury (1471), and Bosworth Field (1485), some of which were 
among the bloodiest ever fought on English ground. Before the battle 
of Blore Heath, fought on the Staffordshire border in 1459, the Yorkist 
army, which had been mustered by the Duke of York at Middleham 
Castle in Yorkshire, was marched through Craven, and therefore 
through Ribblesdale, traversing a portion of the Parish of Blackburn, 
and passing on through West Lancashire into Cheshire and Shropshire. 
The Yorkist nobles were joined in the campaign by Sir Thomas Har- 
rington, of Hornby Castle, Sir Richard Molyneux, of Sefton, and other 
Lancashire notables. In the course of these wars, several of the princi- 
pal landowners in this parish, to be named hereafter, forfeited life or 
lands by adherence to the losing interest. 

X Hist, of Whalley, New Edn., v. i, p, 262. 


One remarkable and melancholy incident in the career of the 
unfortunate King, Henry the Sixth, is associated with Ribblesdale, and 
with members of two local families, — I refer to the capture of Henry 
near Clitheroe in the year 1464, by partizans of Edward IV., the Yorkist 
Prince, who had then forcibly possessed the throne. After the loss of 
the battle of Hexham, Henry was a fugitive, and sojourned for a time 
in hiding and disguise with faithful supporters among the gentry of West 
Yorkshire. Henry's first retreat was to Bolton Hall, in Craven, the 
mansion of his friend, Sir Ralph Pudsay. There he dwelt in conceal- 
ment for some months. He is said to have been a visitant at 
Whalley Abbey during this period. Sir Ralph Pudsay, of Bolton Hall, 
had married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Tunstall, who attended 
Henry as his body esquire. At Bolton Hall Henry left memorials of his 
sojourn, consisting of his boots, gloves, and a spoon ; these interesting 
relics are still in preservation. In the garden of Bolton Hall is a well, 
called King Henry's Well, of which it is a tradition that the spring 
was discovered by Henry himself, and the well walled about during his 
residence there. After his departure from Bolton Hall, Henry was 
entertained a brief space at Waddington Hall, in the parish of Mitton, 
then the residence of another gentleman who had supported the King's 
interest — Sir John Tempest. Waddington Hall is situated a short 
distance from the Ribble, on the Yorkshire side. It is a strongly-built, 
moderate-sized house, most of the original features of which have 
disappeared. It has yet a room which is known as the King's Chamber ; 
and a field between the hall and the river bears the name of King 
Henry's Meadow. Henry's presence in these parts was known to the 
Harringtons and the Talbot.s, as well as to Tempest and Pudsay. 
Induced by the promise of advantage from Edward the Fourth, these 
parties, with the honourable exception of Sir Ralph Pudsay, entered 
into a plot to take Henry captive for the purpose of handing him over 
to his arch-enemy. The chief agents in this cruel act of treachery 
were Sir James Harrington, of Hornby, and John Talbot, of Sales- 
bury Hall. They set a watch upon the ex-King's movements at Wad- 
dington, and when he was known to be within, they and their m)nrmidons 
approached the house to seize Henry. Their victim is said to have 
escaped by a back window, and fled in the direction of the Ribble. He 
reached the ford of the river anciently known as Brungerley Hipping- 
stones, close to the site of the modem bridge over the Ribble at Brun- 
gerley ; crossed the river, and reached the Lancashire shore, where he 
was overtaken and secured by his pursuers. This capture is recorded in 
the Annals of England by John Stow, and in almost identical terms in 
the Chronicle of Warkworth, as follows : — "Also, the same yere [1464], 



Kynge Henry was takene bysyde a howse of religione [Whalley], in 
Lancaschyre, by the mene of a blacke monke of Abyngtone, in a wode 
called Cletherwode [Clitheroe Wood], besyde Bungerly hyppyng- 
stones, by Thomas Talbott, sonne and heyre to Sere Edmunde Talbot, of 
Basshalle, and Jhon Talbott, his cosyne, of Colebry [Salesbury], withe 
other moo ; whiche disseyvide [him] beynge at his dynere at Wadyngtone 
halle ; and [he was] caryed to Londone on horsebake, and his lege 
bownd to the styrope, and so brought thrugh Londone to the Toure, 
where he was kepte longe tyme.'" The black monk who was instrumental 
in the betrayal was William Cantlow. At Waddington Hall Henry left 
on his abduction a handsome leather penner ornamented with the 
heraldic rose and crown, and other insignia, in relief 

The betrayers of Henry were suitably rewarded by Edward IV. 
Sir Thomas Talbot of Bashall received a gift of ;^ioo, and Sir John 
Tempest and Sir James Harrington the sum of loo marks each, from 
the Royal exchequer ; while to Sir John Harrington King Edward made 
a large territorial grant for his share in this transaction. Both the 
Talbots who aided in the capture of the inoffensive King were consider- 
able landlords in Blackburn Parish. Talbot of Bashall was lord of the 
manor of Holt in Rishton township, and his relative, John Talbot, was 
seated at Salesbury Hall and lord of Salesbury manor. In the accounts 
of these two families of Talbots which will occur in the histories of 
Rishton and Salesbury townships, some references to the members 
implicated in this business will be found. John Livesey, of this parish, 
a connexion of the Talbots of Holt and Bashall, assisted in the abduc- 
tion of King Henry, for which he received a reward of ^^20 from 
Edward IV. John Talbot of Salesbury received likewise from King 
Edward the Fourth a grant of lands and houses to the value of twenty 
marks per annum (^13 6s. 8d.) This grant was confirmed to his son 
by a deed of Richard III., brother of Edward IV., in the year 1484, in 
terms translated thus : — • 

Richard by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of 
Ireland, to al! to whom the present writing shall come, greeting. Whereas the Lord 
Edward, late King of England, our brother, in consideration of the good and faithful 
service of John Talbot, late of Salebury, Armiger, now deceased, in the capture of 
his great adversary, Heniy, late in fact but not of right King of England, by his 
letters patent granted to the same John a certain annuity or annual fee of twenty 
marks, to have and to receive by the same John and his heirs so long as to him lands 
and tenements to the value of the foresaid annuity might be awarded by the lord the 
King or his heirs ; We, also, in consideration of the above-stated, and for the good 
and faithful service that our well-beloved John Talbot, of Salebury, Kt., son and 
heir of the aforesaid John, expends, and in time to come faithfully may expend, of our 
special favour concede, and by these presents grant to the same John the annuity or 
X Camden Soc. Series, v. x. p. 5.. 


annual fee of twenty marks, to have and to receive by the same John and his heirs, 
so long as to him and his heirs lands and tenements of the annual value of the 
foresaid annuity by us or by our heirs shall be bestowed ; receiving the same annuity 
annually out of the issues and revenues of our County Palatine of Lancaster, by the 
hand of our Receiver of the foresaid County Palatine of Lancaster for the time being. 
In attestation of which thing we have caused to be executed these our letters patent. 
Given under our seal of our Duchy of Lancaster, at the city of York, the 26th day of 
June, in the second year of our reign ( 1484). 

Edward IV. granted by letters patent to his younger brother- 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in the year 1469, "the honour, castell, lord, 
ship, manor, and hundred of Clytherough [Clitheroe] ; the forests of 
Blackbumshire and Bowland ; the manors of Penwortham, Blaes, Wal- 
ton, Padyngton, Colne, Penhulton, Werston, Chatburn, Acryngton, and 
Haselyngdon, in our countie of Lancaster ; the manors of Skerton, 
Overton, Sl)mes, Rygby and Wira, West Derby, Crosby ; the castell and 
towne of Lytherpole ; forests of Quemmoor, Amoundemesse, West 
Darbishire ; Blesdale, Wyresdale, Penhull, Rossendale and Myrescogh ; 
Toxtath, and Croxtath, in our said countie ; the castell, manor, and 
lordship of Hulton ; and the farmes of Runcorn, More, Wydnesse, 
Whitlegh, Congleton, in the countie of Chester." 

The complete overthrow and death of Richard the Third by Henry, 
Earl of Richmond, at the battle of Bosworth, in 1485, ended the 
domination of the House of York, and closed the disastrous epoch 
of anarchy and confusion created by the conflicting pretensions to the 
throne of the several descendants of Edward Plantagenet. Henry 
Tudor, by his alliance with Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., secured 
the interest of York, and gave to his heirs a stronger title to the 
sovereignty than he was able to exhibit in his own lineage. 

6q history of BLACKBURN. 


Sequestrations by Henry VII. — The Lancashire Contingent at Flodden — Subsidy Assessment in 1523 — 
Ecclesiastical Valuation in 1534 — " Pilgrimage of Grace," and Suppression of Whalley Monastery 
— Passage of the Abbey Estates — Military Levies in the Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth — ProsecU' 
tion of Recusants — Loyal Declaration of Gentry — Free Tenants in 1600. 

NOTHING of significance marks the record of this Parish in the 
reign of the first Tudor, Henry VII., beyond the act of confiscation 
which deprived the chief members of the vanquished party in Lancashire 
of their territorial possessions, — the Harringtons and the Lord Lovel, who 
owned manors in Blackburn Parish, being conspicuous sufferers by that 
enactment. Henry VII. paid a state visit to Lancashire in the year 1494, 
but did not proceed further northward in the county than Lathom, the 
seat of the Stanley family. 

A Subsidy for the King was assessed upon Lancashire in 1496, and 
of the Commissioners appointed to collect the subsidy two were lords of 
manors in the Parish, viz.. Sir John Talbot, Knt., lord of Salesbury, and 
Thomas Hesketh, Esq., lord of Great Harwood. 

Henry Tudor died, and was succeeded by his son, as Henry the 
Eighth, in the year 1509. September 9th, 1513, the battle of Flodden 
Field was fought, in which the invading army of James the IV. of Scot- 
land was routed by the English host under the Earl of Surrey. In this 
•battle, the left wing of the English army was composed of a strong con- 
tingent of Lancashire men, marshalled by Sir Marmaduke Constable and 
Sir Edward Stanley. All the towns and parishes of the County were 
represented in this gallant array, and the steadiness and valour of the 
Lancashire fighting-men are specially commemorated in a quaint con- 



temporary ballad-description of the campaign. These lines, often cited 
from the Ballad of Flodden, pourtray the characteristics of the bowmen 
and billmen drawn from the hills and plains of East and North Lanca- 
shire : — 

From Waddecar to Waddington, 

From Ribchester unto Rochdale, 

From Poulton to Preston with pikes, 

They with the Standley howte forth went. 

From Pemberton and Pillin Dykes, 

For Battell Bilmen bould were bent. 

With fellows fearce and fresh for feight 

Which Halton fields did turn in foores, 

With lustie ladds, liver and light, r 

From Blackbome and Bolton in the Moores. 

From a Subsidy Roll in the Public Record Office I copy the parti- 
culars of an assessment upon that portion of Blackburn Hundred con- 
tained in Blackburn Parish, made in the years 1523-4. The MS. is 
headed :— 

Assessment of First Payment of Subsidy granted isth Henry viii. on 
Inhabitants within the Hundred of Blackburn. 
[In Blackburn Parish.] 
Blakeborne — 

Robert SharpuUs, in goodes 

Roger Walley, in goodes 

William Haworth, in goodes 

Richard Haworth, in goodes 

Henry Lyvesey, in goodes 

Thomas Haspynhalgh, in goodes 

James Catterall, in goodes 

William Bolton, in goodes 

Lawrence .Sharpulls, in goodes... 

James Harwood, in goodes 

John Karvart, in goodes 

Henry Whythalgh, in goodes 

Mellor-cum-Eckells[hill] — 

James Whythalgh, in landes 

John Ward, in landes 

Uxor Christopher Walley, in goodes ... 

George Sharpulls, in goodes 

Derwynd Superior — 

Rychard Crosse, in landes 

William Eerre, in landes 

Rauf Hey, in goodes 

Derwynd Inferior — 

James Lyvesey, in landes 

William Mersden, in landes 

Rauf Waddington, in goodes 

Edmond Haworth, in goodes 


































1 2d. 










1 2d. 






Derwynd Inferior — 

Peter Ha worth, in goodes 

Edmond Harwood, in goodes 

Richard Haworth, in goodes 

Lyvesey-cum-Tockholes — 

Geoi^e Esteley, in landes 

Rauf Crycheley, in goodes 

William Walmesley, in landes ... 

William Holden, in landes 

John Blaklach, in goodes 

Thomas Lyvesey, in goodes 

Hugh Marsden, in goodes 

Marsden's Widdow, in goodes 

Parva Harwod — 

John Ryshton, in landes 

Roger Bolton, in goodes 

Plesyngton — 

Lawrence Anysworth, in landes 

William Issherwod, in landes ... 

Richard Aspden, in landes 

Myles Mersden, in goodes 

Barthylmew SharpuUs, in goodes 

Ryshton — 

Uxor Nicholas Ryshton, in landes 

Nicholas iTelden, in goodes 

George Lyvesey, in goodes 
George Abbot, in goodes 

Xpofer Whalley, in goodes 

Rychard ffelden, in goodes 

William Hogeson, in goodes 

Wytton — 

George Cowbron, in landes 

James Holdyn, in landes 

John Hilliswyke, in landes 

Magna Harwod — 

Lynel ffole, in landes 

Roger Cokshot, in landes 

Robert Haytalgh, in goodes 

Edmond Merser, in goodes 

Hugh Stanworth, in goodes 

Xpofer Butlyff, in goodes 

Byllyngton — 

John Deyne, in landes ... 

John Braddyll, in landes 

Hughtride Morley, in landes 

Edward Braddyll, in goodes 

Jamys fforster, in goodes 

Uxor William Choo, in goodes 

Jamys Broughton, in goodes 

John Cedem, in goodes 

Edmond Wod, in goodes 

William Pollart, in goodes 






1 2d. 


1 2d. 








1 2d. 










1 2d. 


1 2d. 








1 2d. 












1 2d. 


1 2d. 






1 2d. 


1 2d. 




1 2d. 


1 2d. 


















1 2d. 


1 2d. 




1 2d. 


1 2d. 






Nycholas Talbot, in landes 

... 40s. 


William Dewirst, in landes 

... 40s. 


Olyver Dewirst, in goodes 

... 40s. 



Thomas Walmysley, in goodes 

. ... £^ 


Rychard Hawkyshey, in goodes 

■ - £3 


John Mores, in goodes 

. . . 40s. 



Robert Osboldeston, in landes 

... 20s. 


Walton-in-le-Dale — 

George Banester, in landes 



Robert Hey ton, in goodes 



Edmond Dansey, in goodes 



Edmond Sergeant, in goodes 



Edward Dansey, in goodes 



John Brerys, in goodes ... 

... 40s. 


Rauf Sergeant, in goodes 



Balderstone — 

Roger Smalley, in landes 

... 20S. 


Thomas Clyflf, in goodes 



Barnard Bolton, in goodes * 



Jamys Radclyff, in goodes 



Salebery — 

John Talbot, in landes 



John Bolton, in landes ... 

... 20s. 


Xpofer Bolton, in landes 

. . . 40s. 



Hugh Walshman, in goodes 



Richard Chemeley, in landes ... 



Xpofer Sede, in goodes... 


2S. 6d. 

Hugh Michell, in goodes 

... 40s. 



William Yate, in goodes 

. ... ;^3 


Robert Fyshe, in goodes 

. . . 40s. 

1 2d. 

Robert Baron, in goodes 

... 40s. 


At the foot of the Roll appear the autographs of the Subsidy Commissioners for 
Blackburn Hundred, being the four principal personages in the Hundred : — "P. me 
John Townley, Knyght; p. me Aleysander Osbalston, Knyght; p. meTHOM. 
SoTHWORTHE, Knyght ; p. me Thomas Langton, Esquier." 

The preceding Subsidy Roll furnishes a useful list of the resident 
gentry and freeholders of the Parish at the beginning of the sixteenth 
eentury. It exhibits the division of lands in the townships, show- 
ing that Blackburn, Billington, Walton-in-le-Dale, Rishton, Livesey-cum- 
Tockholes, Lower Darwen, Great Harwood, and Pleasington, then 
contained the largest number of families of sufficient estate to be assessed 
to the public taxation. Several of the lords of local manors, being resi- 
dent elsewhere, are not named in the return ; ex. gr. Barton of Smithells, 


lord of Blackburn ; Radcliffe of Ordsall, lord of Tockholes ; Earl of 
Derby, lord of a moiety of Samlesbury ; Hesketh of Rufford, lord of 
Great Harwood ; Talbot of Bashall, lord of Rishton and Lower Dar- 
wen ; and the Abbot of Whalley, lord of Billington. The names on the 
Roll of the assessment for the second payment of the same Subsidy do 
not vary from the list for the first payment. 


In the 26th year of Henry VIII. (a.d. 1534) an Act of Parliament 
was passed authorising a survey and valuation of the ecclesiastical pro- 
perty and of the benefices of the kingdom, and Royal Commissioners 
were appointed to conduct the inquiry. The returns thus procured, 
known as the Valor Ecdesiaslicus, or Ecclesiastical Survey, of England, 
were made to a new state office, then instituted, called " His Majesty's 
Court of First Fruits and Tenths." The King had resolved to direct 
into his own exchequer the Decimce Dedmorum, or Tenths of the 
Tenths, which had up to that time been the perquisite of the Roman 
Pontiff, and it was necessary to ascertain what the tenths of these eccle- 
siastical revenues amounted to. The reports of the Commission are pre- 
served in a celebrated MS. record, called the Liber Regis, said to have 
been transcribed by a monk of Westminster, for the Royal Library. I 
have translated the portion of the Valor which relates to the Parish and 
Deanery of Blackburn : — 


Worth of the Foresaid Deanery of Blakebourne in the hands of 
William Knight, Archdeacon. — It is worth in proofs of Wills and other casual 
farm-leases to Gilbert Haydock, clerk, per annum, 20s. Also in Pence annually 
received from divers churches within the Deanery aforesaid, for Synodals and Procura- 
tions, 66s. ; total £^ 6s. ; the tenth thereout, 8s. 7d. 

Whalley Monastery. — Values, as well spiritual as temporal, belonging to the 
Monastery of White Monks of Whalley, within the foresaid Deanery, — John Passe- 
lewe, Abbot there. — Temporals belonging to the foresaid Monastery, in the coimty of 
Lancaster : — Whalley — Rents of demesne lands in the hands of the said Abbot, 

lying in the parish of Whalley, per annum ;,f20. WiswALL. — Rents of assize in 

Wiswall, per annum, £6. Penhulton. — Rents of assize in Penhulton, per annum, 

36s. 8d. Reade. — Rent of one parcel of land there, per aimum, 32s. 

Clytherhowe. — Rents of assize of lands and tenements, per annum, ;^io. 

Eddesforthe. — Rents of assize and tenements there, per annum, 40s. 

Downham. — Rents of lands there, per annum, 15s. Chatborne. — Rents of 

assize of two tenements there, per annum, 13s. 4d. WoRSTON. — Rent of one cot- 
tage there, per annum, 2s. Parva M'ii ton. — Rents of divers tenements, called 

Caldcotes, in the foresaid vill, per annum, £^ is. 4d. Burneley. — Rents of three 

tenements there, per annum, 34s. 8d. Clyderhowe. — Rent of one tenement 

within the lordship foresaid, called Baldwyn Hills, per annum, 26s. 8d. Rents of two 
tenements near the foresaid vill, called Standen, per annum, ^4 13s. 4d. Bylung- 


TON. — Rents of assize there, within the parish of Blackbome, per annum, ^30. 

Harwood. — Rents of three tenements there, per annum, 68s. 8d. Wytton. — 

Rents of two tenements there, per annum, 53s. 4d. Romesgreve. — Rents of cer- 
tain tenements there, per annum, £(>. — —[Rents of lands and tenements in divers 
townships in West and South Lancashire, of the collective value of ;f 132 13s. lod. 

per annum.] Rybchester. — Rent of one parcel of land there, per annum 2s. 

DuTTON. — Rents of free tenants there, per annum 4s. Rents of one tenement there, 

per annum 13s. 4d. Preston. — Rent of one parcel of land there, per annum, 2s. 

— Chaterton. — Rent of one parcel of land there, per annum, 6d. Rossendale. 

— Rent of one mill, with a parcel of land there, 25s. Rent of one tenement there, 

per annum, 2Is. Acryngton. — Rent of one parcel of land called Calfehey, 13s. 

4d. Temporals belonging to the aforesaid Monastery in the County of Chester [in 

the city of Chester and six townships, total value per annum ^45 3s. lod.] In 

Waddington [Co. York.] — Rent of one parcel of land there, per annum, 2s. 

Spirituals belonging to the aforesaid Monastery, in the said county of Lancaster : — 
Whalley Rectory, appropriated to the foresaid Monastery ; it is worth, in Rents 
of Land called Glebelande, per annum £^ ; in tithes of grain with hay, by estima- 
tion, annually ;^44 13s. 4d. ; in tithe of lambs and wool, by estimation, annually /'17 ; 
in oblations with secret tithes, and other privy tithes, with Easter Roll, per annum 

^22 13s. 4d. ; altogether .1^9 1 6s. 6d. Blakebourne Rectory is worth in Rents 

of Glebe Lands per annum ^10 ; in tithes of grain with hay, annually, by estimation, 
.jf 44 ; in tithes of lambs with wool, per annum £^ ; in oblations with other small 
tithes, with Easter Roll, perannum.)f 16 6s. 8d. ; total .1^74 6s. 8d. [Eccles Rectory 
— total value ;f57 2s. ; Rachedale Rectory — total value ^49 13s. 4d.] Sum total 
of clear values of Spirituals and Temporals belonging to the foresaid Monastery — 
;^55i 4s. 6d. — whereof Reprises : — Repaid Rents — that is to say, in rents repaid to the 
lord the King for lands in Edisworth, per annum 3s. ; to the same the lord the King 
for lands in Romesgreve, per annum 66s. 8d. ; rents repaid to the foresaid lord the 
King for lands in Baldwyn-hills, per annum 20s. 3d. ; to the same lord the King for 
lands in Wythworth, per annum 12s. 8d. ; to the same lord the King for lands in the 
lordship of Mawnton, per annum 6s. ; to the same for lands in Ludworth, per annum 
3d. ; to the same for lands in Burnley, per annum 7s. 2^d. ; to the same for lands in 
Spotlande, 14s. id. ; to the same for lands in Clyderhowe, per annum ^4; to the 
same for lands in Downham, per annum 6s. 8d. ; to the same for lands in Chatboume, 
3s. 4d. ; to the same for lands in Acryngton, 7s. 7d. ; to the same for a mill in Rossen- 
dale, 26s. 8d. ; to the same for lands in Penhulton, 20s. ; to the lord of Worsley for 
lands in Swynton, 7s. i id. ; to the lord of Barton for the foresaid lands in Swynton, 
1 id. ; to Robert Holt, Esquire, for lands in Castleton, 3s. ; to the Prioress of HampuU 
for lands in Whytworth, per annum I2s. ; to the Prioress of Chester, per annum los. ; 
to the Abbot of Chester per annum, for lands in Staney, 9s. ; to the Castel of Lyver- 
pole, per annum, 2s. ; to Thomas Langton, Kt., for lands in Harwood, 4s. — .Sum of 

Repaid Rents, ^i6 3s. 2d. Pensions. — Pension annually paid to Robert Parryshe, 

Vicar of Whalley, ;^I2 ; pension annually paid to Henry Salley, Vicar of Blake- 
bourne, £\o 13s. 4d. ; pension annually paid to the Vicar of Eccles, by composition, 
;^lo 13s. 4d. ; pension annually paid to Gilbert Heydoke, Vicar of Rachdale, by com- 
position, £% ; and in pension annually paid to the College of St. Bernard in Oxon, 
43s. 4d. — Sum of pensions paid, ^^43 ids. — —Fees. — Fees of the Most Noble Ed- 
ward Staneley, Earl of Derby, chief seneschall of the said Monastery, per annum io6s. 
8d. ; fees of Alexander Nowell and Richard Cromboke, sub-seneschalls of the said 
Monastery, per annum loos. ; fees of Lawrence Forest, receiver of the Rectory of 



Whalley, per annum ;^ 6 6s. 8d. ; fees of Ralph Lynney, receiver of the Rectory of 
Blakeboume, per annum loos. ; fees of Robert Parryshe, receiver of the Rectory of 
Eccles, per annum £,^ ; fees of William Heydock, receiver of the Rectory of Rach- 
dale, per annum 66s. 8d. ; fees of Lionel! FuUe, receiver of the lordship of Croynton, 
Garston, and Akeberth, per annum 54s. 6d. ; fees of William Whithowe, bailiff of 
Stanney, per annum 20s. ; fees of Hiinbabyn, bailiff of Acton, per annum 20s. ; fees 
of Christopher Smyth, Bailiff of Aston, per annum 20s. ; fees of Robert FuUe, bailiff 
of Byllington, per annum 40s. ; fees of Oto Holland, bailiff of Maunton, per annum, 
and of Swynton 40s. ; fees of Robert Borman, bailiff of Wolden, per annum 20s. ; 
fees of James Gartside, bailiff of Merland, Castleton and Spotlande, 60s. ; fees of 
Ralph Holland, bailiff of the Grange of Whytworthe, per annum los. ; fees of John 
Cromboke, bailiff of Roclyff and Brendwood, per annum 20s. ; fees of Giles Parker, 
bailiff of Clyderowe, per annum 40s. ; fees of Ralph Morton, bailiff of the Grange of 

Stanyngs, per annum 40s. Alms. — Alms annually distributed among the poor, viz., 

at the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, in the price of 200 yards of woollen cloth, 
on the said day annually distributed by the foundation, icxjs. ; alms annually distributed 
to all the poor persons coming to the foresaid Monastery, according to the foundation 
of John Lacy, on the day of the Lord's Supper, namely, in the price of 1,200 quar- 
ters of corn made into bread, ^7 4s. ; of wheat, 12s. ; of eight quarters 
brewed into ale, of the price per quarter 6s., — 48s. ; of six "maise" of red and 
white allecar, of the price per "mais" 6s., — 36s. ; and annually distributed on the 
said day to the poor and the clerks, after the washing of their feet, 20s. in pence ; and 
also distributed to thirteen of the elder poor on the said day, to as many of them as 
take it, 2d., and one pair of shoes price 8d., — los. 'lod. ; altogether, as appears by 
the foundation of the said Monastery, when examined in the presence of the Com- 
missioners of the lord the King, £,\2 i8s. lod. ; for Pence applied to the support of 
twenty-four poor and infirm persons, annually supported within the said Monastery, 
according to the ordination of the lord John Lacye, that is to say, to each poor person 
weekly 8d., — 5^41 12s., as appears by the foresaid foundation, in the presence of the 
said Commissioners exhibited and examined, and remaining in possession of the Abbot 
and Convent there ; alms annually distributed to the poor coming to the said Monas- 
tery in bread, namely, weekly two quarters of corn, price per quarter 12s., for the 
souls of the founders, as appears by the foundation of the said Monastery — ^^62 8s. ; 
total ;f 104. Sum of all Reprises £,22<) 15s. 4>^d. ; and there remains clear ^£'321 9s. 
id. ; the tenth part thereof ^32 2s. ild. 

Vicarage of Whalley. — In the hands of Robert Parryshe, monk, worth, in 
annual pension received from the Abbot of Whalley, by composition, £\2,; thereout 
in pension annually paid to the Bishop of Chester 40s. ; in pence paid to the Arch- 
deacon of Chester for sinodals and procurations per annum 43s. ; alms annually distri- 
buted on the death of Roger, formerly Bishop of Chester, 13s. 4d. ; in annual rent 
paid to the wardens of the Church of Whalley per annum 20s. ; and there remains 
clear, £6 3s. 4d., the tenth thereout 12s. 4d. 

Chantry at Clyderowe. — In the hands of Thomas Sylkoke, clerk. It is 
worth in rents and farms of certain lands and tenements lying there, per annum 77*-; 
thence the tenth, 7s. S/^d. 

Chantry at Padyham. — In the hands of Hugh Hargreve, clerk. Valued in 
rents and farms of divers lands and tenements there, per annum £t^ 13s. 4d. ; the tenth 
thereout, 9s. 4d. 

Chantry at Harwood. — Of the foundation of Thomas Esketh, esquire. In 
the hands of Richard Wood, chaplain. Worth, in rents and farms of divers lands and 


tenements in the same, per annum £4 Js. Sd. Thereout, in alms annually distributed 
among the poor on the day of the death of the founder, 6s. 8d., and remains £4 Is.; 
the tenth thereout, 8s. l>^d. 

Chantry at Burnley. — In the hands of Peter Adlyngton, chaplain. Valued 

in rents and farms of lands there per annum 66s. 8d. ; thence the tenth, 6s. 8d. 

Chantry at Burnley Aforesaid. — In the hands of Gilbert Fayrbanke, chaplain. 
Worth, in rents and farms of divers lands and tenements there, per annum 40s. ; the 
tenth thereout 4s. 

Chantry at Edisforde. — By the foundation of the Burgesses of Clyderowe. 
In the hands of William Herde, chaplain. Valued in rents and farms of divers lands 
and tenements there per annum, 26s. 8d. ; the tenth thereout, 2s. 8d. 

Vicarage of Blakeborne. — In the hands of Henry Salley, monk. Worth in 
a pension annually received of the Abbot of Whalley, ^10 13s. 4d. Thence, in pen- 
sion p'aid to the Bishop of Chester per annum, 8s. led. ; in pence paid to the Arch- 
deacon of Chester for sinodals and procurations per annum, 23s. ; annual pension or 
rent of the Church of Blakeborne per annum, 20s. ; and there remains clear £S is. 

6d.; the tenth thereout, i6s. 2d. Chantry at Blakeborne. — In the hands of 

Thomas Burges, chaplain. It is worth in rents and farms of divers lands and tene- 
ments there, per annum, 66s. 8d. ; the tenth thereout, 6s. 8d. Chantry at 

Blakeborne aforesaid. — In the hands of William Rishton, chaplain. Value in 
rents and farms of divers lands and tenements there per annum, 66s. 8d. ; the tenth 
thereout, 6s. 8d. 


In March, 1534, Henry VIII. proceeded, with the consent of his 
Pariiament, to substitute the royal supremacy over the Church of 
England for that of the Pope ; this act was followed by the appointment 
of a Commission to make a Visitation of all the religious houses in the 
kingdom, to report upon the pecuniary resources of these monastic 
establishments, and upon the modes of life and moral character of 
their inmates. This Visitation was made in the year 1535. The visitors 
for Lancashire were Dr. Thomas Legh and Dr. Richard Layton. Upon 
the report of the Commission, an Act was passed suppressing the lesser 
monasteries, and providing for the reversion of their revenues to the 
Crown. All the monastic foundations in the county of Lancaster, 
with the exception of the three great abbeys of Whalley, Cockersand, 
and Fumess, succumbed to this stroke of state. The measure led to the 
rebellion characterised " The Pilgrimage of Grace," organised and led 
by the abbots of the greater Northern Monasteries. John Paslew, 
Abbot of Whalley, was implicated in the rising, but his participation in 
the military operations was but slight. The " Pilgrimage of Grace " 
was quelled with little difficulty by the king's forces. In Lancashire, 
the Earl of Derby marshalled the loyal gentry and their men-at-arms at 
Preston, and marched through Blackburn to Whalley Abbey. On the 


occasion, the king addressed autograph letters to sundry county knights, 
among them to Sir Thomas Langton of Walton-in-le-Dale, acknowledging 
their service. The letter to Sir Thomas Langton, knight, is found in 
the public archives, and runs : — 

By the King. — Trustie and welbeloved we grete you well. And forasmuche as 
we have been credeably advertised howe that lyke a moste true and faythfull subject 
you have assembled all your force and joyned the same with our right trustye and 
right welbeloved cousyn the Erie of Derbye, for the repressyon of certayne Traytours 
and Rebelles in those partes, lyke as we for the same gyve unto you our moste harty 
thankes. So we thought as well convenient to require you to persist and contynue in 
your faythfull towardnes in the company of our said cousyn till the said Traytours shall 
be utterly subdued ; as to signifie unto you that we shall not onely consider yourcharge 
therein, but lykwise so remembre your service in the same as you shall have cause to 
saye you have well employed your labours, paynes, and travailles in that behalf. 
Geven undre our signet at our Castell of Windesor the 28th day of Octobre, in the 
28th yere of our Regne (1536). Indorsed — "To our trustie and welbeloved servant, 
Sir Thomas Langton, Knyght.''^ 

There is also in existence a despatch from the Earl of Derby to 
the king, recounting the events that immediately preceded the Earl's 
advance from Preston to Whalley with the force of the Shire. Abbot 
Paslew and some of his monks were arrested shortly after the collapse 
of the insurrection, and were sent to Lancaster to be tried for high 
treason. The letter of instruction from the king's secretary, Thomas 
Cromwell, to the Earl of Sussex, in command of the royal army, dated 
March nth, 1537, makes mention of some local incidents of the 
outbreak in the passage subjoined : — 

Nevertheles, we thinke it necessary that you should not only duely examyn them 
all [the Monks of Fumess] befor you shall dismisse any of that sorte that shall goo to 
other houses, as well for that we thinke some of the houses mentioned in your bill 
of their names be not well hable to receyve their nomber sett upon them as for that the 
house of Gervayse is in some danger of suppression by like offence as hathe been 
comytted at Whalley, but also that you shall retayne John Estgate [Monk of Whalley] 
who wold goo to Methe [? Meath], tyl ye may perceyve the cause whye he should desire 
to goo more to that place thenne to any other. . . Thirde, whereas you have sent 
unto us the copie of the Lettre writen from our cousin of Norffolk to the Lord Darcye 
after his first departure from Doncaster, whiche you found in the Vicar of Black Burne's 
[Blackbume's] Chamber ; forasmoche as by the same it appereth that there hathe 
been great intelligence amonges such personnes as were of that naughty inclination 
entent and conspiracye, We desire and praye you as wel by the straite examynation 
of the said Vicar as by all other meanes that you canne possibly devise, strongly to 
enserche howe the said copie was conveyed thether, who was the messenger, who 
was of counsel, and how many lettres or writinges of that sorte or any other 
were in that tyme conveyed in to those parties, to whom, from whom, and of 
what effect. For in the emest folowing of this matier you maye doo unto us as 
highe and as acceptable service as canne be devised. Finally we desire and pray you 
I Baines's Hist, of Lane, 1st Edn., v. i. p. 477. 


to sende uppe in sauftie unto us Richard Estgate, late Monke of Salleye. Our servant 
Sir Arthur Darcy hathe writen that he doubtethe not to declare suche matier against himf 
at his repayr unto us as shall conveye some thinges to our knowleage whiche for our 
affaires shall be very necessary to be knowen. Which things being once conduced 
to some perfection we shall signifie our pleasure unto you touchinge the returne of our 
cousin of Sussex to our presence. T. C. [Thomas Cromwell.] 

The above missive informs us of the circumstance that on a search 
being made in the house of the Vicar of Blackburn by the King's party, 
for proofs, probably, of his treason and of the ramifications and plans 
of the rebellion, the searchers lighted upon a manuscript in one of the 
chambers of the Blackburn Vicarage which astounded them not a 
little. It was the copy of a private despatch sent by the Duke of 
Norfolk, the King's General-in-Chief, to Lord Darcy, after his departure 
in custody from Doncaster. Manifestly the intelligence department of 
the rebels had been served by means of the perfidy of some of the 
Royal messengers, and the order of the King was that the mystery 
should be fathomed to the bottom. The Vicar of Blackburn at that 
time was Henry Salley, a monk of the monastery of Whalley, and 
doubtless a willing agent of his patron Abbot Paslew in all the plottings 
of this conspiracy. In the beginning of March, the Earl of Sussex held 
Whalley Abbey for the King with a considerable garrison. William de 
Trafford, Abbot of Salley, the Prior, and other monks of that abbey, 
had been captured by Lord Shrewsbury along with Paslew and the 
Whalley monks, and had been carried to Lancaster for trial. At length 
the trial of the abbots took place, and on the 10th March, 1537, Abbot 
John Paslew, Abbot William Trafford, the Prior of Salley, and the 
monks Haydock and Eastgate of Whalley, were found guilty of capital 
offences,' and sentenced to death. The Abbot Trafford and his Prior 
were executed the same day at Lancaster. Paslew and his brethren 
were conveyed to Whalley Abbey, under a guard of Lord Derby's men. 
Thence the Abbot was conducted on the morning of the 12th March, 
1537. to a spot on the Billington side of the Calder in Blackburn Parish, 
called the Hole Houses, at the foot of Whalley Nab, where the gallows 
had been reared upon the summit of a grassy knoll, and there the last 
Abbot of Whalley, with his monk Eastgate, was himg. The record of 
this melancholy transaction in the pages of Stow is this: — "The 10 of 
March, John Paslew, bacheler of divinitie, then beeing the 25 Abbot 
of the Abbey of Whalley, was executed at Lancaster [this is an error], 
and the same day with him was hanged, drawne and quartered, John 
Castegate [Eastgate], a monke of the same house, whose quarters were 
set up at divers townes in that Shire.'" 

I Annales of £ng.. pp. 969-70. 



The fiat of sequestration was pronounced upon Whalley Monastery 
directly after the execution of its Abbot for treason, and some three 
years before the general suppression of the greater monasteries of the 
kingdom, which was not decreed until the year 1540. In the case of 
Whalley there was no deed of formal surrender (as was made by the 
Abbot of Fumess), and no resort on the King's part to parliamentary 
sanction ; — the dissolution was the summary act of absolute kingly 
power, exerted for the punishment of rebellion. Three months after 
Pasle^v's fall, in June, 1537, a survey of the landed possessions and 
ecclesiastical properties of the convent was made by the King's agents, 
preliminary to the disposal of the same at the monarch's pleasure. The 
particulars of such parts of this survey as relate to the Abbey estates in 
Blackburn parish, will be found in the account of the several townships 
in which such lands are contained, at a later stage of this work. The 
territorial possessions of the Monastery were eventually sold by the 
Crown to various purchasers. The extensive demesne lands in the town- 
ships of Whalley and Billington, on both sides of the Calder, were on the 
1 2th of April, 1539, placed under the bailiwick of John Braddyll, son 
of Edward Braddyll of Brockhole, and in the year 1553 (6th Edward 
6th) the Abbey fabric and the manorial estate in Whalley were sold to 
John Braddyll and Richard Asheton. Braddyll also acquired rents in 
Little Harwood, Clayton, and Witton, in this parish, that had pertained 
to the Abbey, and many other properties in Lancashire and Yorkshire ; 
and Thomas Holcroft, Esq., another great speculator in Abbey lands, 
secured the manor of Billington with its appurtenances. The Rectory 
of Blackburn became parcel of the rich estate of the See of Canterbury. 

The suppression of the Chantries followed quickly upon the down- 
fall of the Monasteries. The circumstances of the suppression of 
Chantry Priests ayached to Chantry Chapels in the Parish Church of 
Blackburn and to certain of its dependent Churches will be mentioned 
in the historical narrative of these Church foundations. 


The reigns of both the Tudor Queens were agitated by frequent 
intestine disturbances and by foreign wars or rumours of wars. To meet 
these emergencies of the State, the levies of armed men made upon the 
country were almost continuous, and in many instances large. Lancashire 
furnished contingents proportional to its population to all these levies.' 

The first Military taxation in Mary's reign is one made in the ist 
Mary (1553). In that muster Blackburn Hundred was ordered to raise 

z Lane Lieut., v. i, p. ^. 


400 armed men, and the following knights and gentlemen were their 
commanders ; — Sir Richard Sherburne, Sir Thomas Langton, Sir Thomas 
Talbot, Sir John Southworth ; John Townley, Thomas Catterall, John 
Osbolston (Osbaldeston), and John Talbot, Esquires.' The quotas of 
the townships in the Parish of Blackburn are added : — 





Harwood Magna ... 




Balderstone ... 


Nether Darwen 




Harwood Parva 


Mellor and Eccleshill 



Over Darwen 

Ly vesey 


Claiton-in- the-Daile . . . 









In the 2nd of Queen Elizabeth (1559) several calls were made 
upon the county for soldiers. The first was a levy of 300 men to serve 
the Queen's Majesty at Berwick, in her operations against the Scotch 
and French troops under Mary of Guise. To this levy Blackburnshire 
contributed 55 men, of whom 15 were archers. The whole Lancashire 
contingent was placed " under the conduction of Sir John Southworth, 
Knight," lord of Samlesbury. Next, a -levy of 200 soldiers and 267 
pioneers, " to serve the Queen's Majesty at Leith, under the conduction 
of Thomas Butler, Esq.," was made in Lancashire, whereof the Hundred 
of Blackburn contributed 36 soldiers and 48 pioneers. A third and 
more important levy of men was made in the same year, in which the 
Hundred was required to muster 407 harnessed men, and 361 unhar- 
nessed, a total number of 768 soldiers.* 

Again, in 1574, was a general levy of arms, armour and horses in 
Lancashire. The following is a list of the residents of Blackburn 
Hundred who had to furnish arms, &c., with the description given of the 
articles required of each : — Sir Richard Shirbume, Knight, to furnish : — 
Dymylaunce i, light horsemen 2, corselettes 3, coates of plate 2, pykes3, 
long boes, 3, sheffe of arrowes 3, Steele cappes 3, calivers 2, morrions 
2. — John Towneley, Esq., to furnish : — Dymylaunce i, light horses 2, 
corslettes 3, coates of plate 2, pykes 2, long boes 2, sheffe of arrowes 2, 
Steele cappes 2, caliver i, morrion i. — Sir J. Sowthworth, Knight, to 
furnish : — Light horses 2, corslettes 2, coates of plate 2, pykes 2, long 
bowes 2, sheffe of arrowes 2, Steele cappes 2, caliver i, morrione i. — 
John Osbaldeston, Esq., to furnish same as Sir John Sowthworth, saving 

I Lane. Lieut., v. i, p. 4. 2 lb. v. i. pp. 18-21. 


he is chardged with almaine ryvettes of cottes of plate, and this is the 
whoUe difference. — Thomas Caterall, Esq., to furnish : — Light horse i^ 
harquebut i, long bovve i, sheffe of arrowes i, scull i. — Thomas Novvell, 
Esq., to furnish the same as Mr. Caterall. — Richard Ashton, Esq., to fur- 
nish : — Lighte horse r, corslettes 2, coates of plate 2, pykes 2, longe bowes 
z, sheffe of arrowes 2, Steele cappes 2, caliver i, morrione i. — John Talbot, 
Esq., to fumishe the same as Mr. Ashton, saving he is not chardged 
with any Steele cappes. — Nicholas Banestar, Ar., to fumishe : — Light 
horse. — John Rishworth, Ar., to furnish : — Light horse. — Richard 
Grymeshawe, Ar., to furnish : — Coate of plate i, long bowe i, sheffe of 
arrowes i, caliver i, scull i, bill i. — Thomas Walmysley, Ar., John 
Braddill, Ar., Henrie Towneley, Thomas Aynsworth, Nicholas Parker, 
to fumishe the same as Mr. Grymeshawe. — .\lex. Howghton, gent., to 
fumishe : — ^Corslette i, coate of plate i, pyke i, long bowe i, sheffe of 
arrowes r, Steele cappe i, caliver i, morrione i. — Roger Nowell, Esq., 
to fumishe : — Coate of plate i, long bowe i, sheffe arrowes i, caliver i, 
scull I, bill I. — William Barecroft, Henrie Banester, Thomas Watson, 
Ilvan Heydocke, Edward Starkie, Robert Moreton, Olin Birtwisell, John 
Greenacre, Nicholas Hancocke, to furnish the same as Mr. Nowell. — • 
Thomas Astley to fumishe : — Coate of plate i, longe bow i, sheffe 
arrowes i, Steele cappe 1, bill i. — ^Thomas Whittacre, George Shuttle- 
worth, Frauncis Garsyde, to furnish same as Mr. Astley. — Robert Smithe 
to fumishe : — Long bowe r, sheffe arrowes i, scull r, bill i. — John 
Ashawe, Nicholas Robinson, George Seller, Nicholas Halstidd, Wm. 
Langton, Bryan Parker, Lawrence Whitacre, John Ormerode, Rawffe 
Haworth, Richard Cunlyffe, Richard Parker, Wm. Barker, Adam Bolton, 
George Talbot, Thomas Lassell, Thomas Isherwoodde, Richard Haberiame, 
Wm. Starkye, Rich. Harrison, Rich. Crounlowe, Tho. Houghim, Rich. 
Shawe, Rich. Bawden, Alexander Lyvesaye, William Churchlowe, Rawffe 
Talbotte, Edwarde Carter, Rich. Woodde, Tho. HoUiday, Roger Nowell, 
Hughe Shuttleworth, Hughe Halsted, Henry Speake, Tho. Enot, 
Henrie Shawe, Peter Ormerode, Thomas Walmysley, Thomas Dewhurst, 
Olin Ormerode, John Nuttall, Gilberte Rishton, Nicholas Cunliff, 
Henrie Barecroft, Laur. Blakey, John Hargreve, James Fieldes, James 
Hartley, Thomas Ellys, Thurston Baron, Robert Craven, George Elston, 
Bamarde Townley, Oliver Halsted, John Seller, John Pastlowe, John 
Whittacre, John Aspinall, Roberte Cunliff, Richard Chameley, Geffrey 
Ryshton, Roberte Seede, Thurstone Tompson, Richard Bawden, 
Thomas Osbaldeston, John Holden, Gyles Whitacre, Richard Tattersall, 
Roberte Smithe, Nicholas Duckesburie, William Merser, to fumishe in 
everie respect lyke unto Robert Smithe. — Summary for the Hundred :—~ 
Dimilaunces 2, light horses 13, corslettes 14, coates of plate or almaine 



ryvettes 34, pykes 14, long bowes 112, sheffe of arrowes 112, Steele 
cappes 109, calivers 26, morrians 7, billes 90.' 

A Certificate and Summary of the Muster of Men in the same year, 
shows the subjoined numbers of men supplied by the " Hundred de 
Blackebome : — Archers, beinge able men furnished by the Countrey 
with bowes, arrowes, Steele cappes, sword and dagger, 126; Bill men, 
beinge able men furnished by the Countrey with Jacke, sallet, bill, sword 
and dagger, 251 ; Archers, beinge able men unfurnished, 20; Bill men, 
beinge able men unfurnished, 402." The total number of Soldiers from 
the Hundred was 799. 

In 1577, came another " Taxation of the Hundrethes within the 
Countie of Lancaster for the makeinge readie of 300 men within otu 
hoivers waminge ;" this was made at Ormskirk, Jan. 30th, 1577, by 
Henrie, Earl of Derby, John Fleetwoodd, Esq., Sheriff of the County, 
Sir Richard Sherebume, and others. Of these three hundred conscripts, 
Blackburn Hundred had to produce 57 men, including 24 pickmen, six 
billmen, six archers, and 2 1 pioneers. The furniture of each Pickman 
cost ^4 IIS. 2d. ; of every Billman ^£4 iis. 2d. ; of every Archer £4 
4s. 6d., and of every Pioneer £2 5s. sd. The cost to the Hundred of 
Blackburn of its quota in money would be ^209 15s. gd.^ 

On the 1 8th of April, 1577, Commissioners appointed to raise and 
train three hundred men of Lancashire as gunners, made the division of 
the men to the various Hundreds of the County at Ormskirk. Of this 
levy Blackburn Hundred had to provide 57 gunners, who were to be 
trained by " Henrie Standley," along with a certain proportion of the 
men raised in Salford and Amounderness Hundreds. 

Again, on the i6th of March, 1580, Queen Elizabeth issued to 
the leading gentry of Lancashire a Commission for a general muster 
of fighting-men in the county, under the evident fear of attack by some 
foreign Catholic State. Among the members of this important Commis- 
sion were the following gentlemen connected with Blackburnshire : — Sir 
Richard Shirbume, Knt. ; Sir Thomas Hesketh, Knt. ; Ralph Ashton ; 
Richard Ashton of Whalley ; Robert Barton, of Smithells and Blackburn ; 
Thomas Walmesley, jun. ; Richard Braddill, and Nicholas Banister. 

In 1 581, an hundred men were demanded from the county, and the 
" furniture" or arms for the men was apportioned to the Hundreds at 
VVigan, by the Earl of Derby and others, on the 5th of April in that 
year. Blackburn Hundred had to furnish 19 suits of armour, including 
eight calivers, four bowes, three pickes, and four billes. 

Several levies were made in 1584; among these, was a demand 
upon the county gentry for light horsemen ; and appear in the list of 

I Lane. Lieut., v. i, pp. 45-9. 2 lb. pp. 86-8. 


" names of such persons as are appointed to fynde leight horsemen," who 
are " everie one to bee furnished with a good, large, and serviceable 
horse or geldinge; a light horseman's staf or a jacke, a burhonett, 
schlives of male, a case of pistoletts, and a cassock," — the following 
gentry in this Hundred : — Sir John Southworth, of Samlesburie, i horse- 
man ; John Talbott, of Salisburie, 2 horsemen. This year, too, a call 
was made for 200 men for Ireland with their furniture and charges ; 
whereof the Earl of Derby, Edmund Trafford, Sir John Radclyf, Sir 
Richard Shireborne, Richard Shuttleworthe, Sergeant-at-law, Ralph 
Barton, Esquire, and others, were the Commissioners ; who apportioned 
the levy at Wigan, Sept. 2nd, and ordered the Hundred of Blackburn to 
furnish — Calivers, 16 ; bowes, 8; billes, 7; pickes, 7; total, 38.^ 

In the month of November, 1585, another levy was made upon the 
county, of 600 gunners and pikemen, the rate of which, as fixed by Sir 
John Byron, Knt., and Sir Richard Sherburne, Knt., was 57 men for 
each 300, or 1 14 men altogether, out of Blackburn Hundred, placed 
under the direction of Sir Richard Sherburne. These 114 men, at the 
charge of ;^3 per man, cost the Hundred the sum of ;^342, equal to 
six-fifteenths of the whole charge of the county.' 

Under date 1587, is found, among the Shuttleworth MSS., " A note 
of the proceedings taken at Preston, the 19th daie of October, 29th Eliz., 
by Sir Richard Sherburne, Knt., one of the Deputie Lieutenants for this 
Countie, and other the Justices of peace and gentlemen of worshipp 
there present ;" that is to say : — " First, that the Justices of peace of 
everie Hundreth, doe send for the Armor from the Croshall [Cross Hall, 
Ormskirk] the daie hereafter specified : — Derbie [Hundred], Tuesdaie 
the 24th of October. Layland, Wednesdaie the 25th of October. Sall- 
forde, Thursdaie the 26th of October. Blackborne, Fridaie the 27th of 
October. Amnender/iess, Mondaie the 30th of October. Lonesdalle, 
Tuesdaie the last of October. Hem, the Justices of peace of everie 
hundreth to provyde a convenient howse for the keepeinge of the saide 
Armor and weapons at these townes hereafter specifyed : — Lonesdalle, at 
Lancaster ; Amounderness, at Preston ; Layland, at Chorley ; Derbie, at 
Ormiskirke : Sallforde, at Manchester ; Blackburtu, at Whalley. Item, it 
is appointed that the souldiers of everie hundreth shal be mustered and 
treyned at theis places. Item, the 600 souldiers are appointed to be 
mustered at theis places the daies hereafter specifyed, viz. : — Mon- 
daie, the 6th of November, at Lancaster. Wednesdaie, the 8th of 
November, at Whalley. Mondaie, the 13th of November, at Manches- 
ter, Wednesdaie, the 15th of November, at Ormiskirke. Fridaie, the 
1 7th of November, at Chorley. — Item, the horsemen to bee mustered as 

I Lane, Lieut, v. ii, pp. 144-5. 2 I^-, PP- 158-60. 


hereafter specified : — Lonesdalle, Amoundemess, and Blackbume, upon 
Tuesdaie, the 21st of November, at Preston."' 

The order concludes with " a note what everie Hundreth is to fur- 
nish of the 600 souldiers all readie appointed, and what Armour they 
are to receive for the same ;" the quota of Blackburn Hundred included 
— Shott [or Musketry] 74 ; Corslettes, 32 ; Pickes [or Pikemen], 32 ; 
total 138 ;—& larger number of men than was raised in the levy by any 
other Hundred save that of Derby, whose muster was 180 men. This 
call for men was made in preparation for the approaching invasion of the 
country by the Spaniards. In the same year, a contribution of twenty- 
five dimilances for the Queen's service was asked and obtained from the 
gentry of the county, towards which the following in Blackburn district 
were contributors : — Thomas Hoghton, Esq. ; Sir John Southworth, 
Knt. ; Thomas Langton, Esq. ; Sir Thomas Hesketh, Knt. ; Thomas 
Walmisley, Esq. ; Edward Osbaldeston, Esq. ; John Talbot, Esq. ; and 
Thomas Barton, Esq. 

Probably the last of the many military levies in Elizabeth's reign 
was that of the year 1595, the particulars of which relating to the 
Parish I copy from a MS. in the Harleian collection : — 

The Number of able Men in the Hundreth of Blackbume, as well furnished with 
ai-mor and weapon as unfurnished, and viewed att Whalley the Third of Novr. Ano. 
P. Rne. Eliz. 37 (1595). 

[Return for Townships in Parish of Blackburn. ] 

Bills. Archers. Shott. Musketers. Pyke. Unfurnished. 

— — 55 

— — 14 

2 — 5 

— — 28 

— — 7 

— — 30 

— — 22 

— — 33 

— — 22 

— — 16 

— — 9 

— — 22 

— — 23 

— — 19 

2 — 5 

— 2 I 

— — 2 

— — 9 


. 2 






Harwood Parva 

. 2 



Harwood Magna 









,. 2 



Livesey and Tockholes . , 

• 9 




. 16 



Wilpshire-cum-Dinckley . . 

• 5 




. 20 




— , 




• 14 



Nether Darwen 

. 2 




■ 9 




• 4 



Over Darwen 

• 4 




. 2 






- I 





Total for Blackburn Parish 98 64 42 4 2 322 

Total for Blackburn Hundred 204 173 139 42 21 1342 

Armed 579 ; Unarmed 1342 ; Total 1921 Men. 
1 Lane. Lieut, v. ii, pp. 180-5. 


The same MS. contains the following memorandum of appoint- 
ments for training of the Lancashire levies in the year succeeding the 
above muster : — 

Dayes appointed for trayninge of Soldiers sett down by the Commissioners at Wiggan 
the 22d day of April, 1596. 

The first time of 
Captaines. particular trayning. 

The second time of 
particular trayning. 

The general trayning 
of the whole Bands be- 
fore theyr Caplaine and 
Lyvetenant Brillges. 

[r. Osbaldeston Blackbume 

...7 of May. 

The IS of May. 

Blackbume, the 

Bande Bumeley 

...4 of May. 

The 17 of May. 

26 of 



...5 of May. 

The 19 0^ May. 


...7 of May. 

The 22 of May. 

1596. June. Dayes appointed for treyninge of 


Captains and their 




John Osbaldeston. 







'4 , 


Edward Osbaldeston. 





Whaley ... 









The reign of Queen Elizabeth was disturbed by numerous plots 
against the Protestant succession, and, as a consequence, was marked 
by constant informations and severe proceedings against those English 
gentry whom events had not moved from their allegiance to the Roman 
Catholic communion. In this county, particularly, the prosecution of 
Recusants was exceedingly fierce, for in Lancashire the Catholic party 
was exceptionally strong. In the Earl of Derby, however, who had 
espoused the Protestant cause, the Government of Elizabeth found 
powerful support in the county. It was about the year 1567 that the 
first efforts were put forth to repress the movements of the disaffected 
in Lancashire. Having been notified of the attitude of certain Catholics 
and recusants in these parts. Queen Elizabeth wrote two letters, to the 
spiritual and civil heads of the province, calling upon them to discover 
and bring to punishment all such seditious persons. One missive was 
addressed to William Downham, Bishop of Chester. The Bishop was 
ordered to make a visitation in Lancashire, to satisfy the Government 
that the churches were supplied with honest men and learned curates. 
This letter was dated the 21st February, 1567-8; and simultaneously a 
second mandate was sent by the monarch to Edward Holland, then 
High Sheriff of Lancashire, requiring him to arrest and imprison certain 
deprived clergy in the county. These names of marked mep were 
vn-itten on the back of the letter to the Sheriff: — "Alen [afterwards 
Cardinal Allen], who wrote the late booke of Purgatory ; Vause, ones 


warden of Winchester [Manchester] ; Murren, chaplain to Boner, late 
Bishop of London ; Marshall, ones dean of Christ Church in Oxford ; 
Hargrave, late vicar of Blackburne ; and one Norreys, tearniing himself 
a physitian." The vicar of Blackburn here stigmatised was James Har- 
greves, instituted to the vicarage, on the presentation of Philip and 
Mary, in 1555, and deprived for " papistry" in 1563. 

The Bishop of Chester made the tour of his diocese during the 
succeeding summer ; the results of which he reported to Secretary Cecil, 
November ist, 1568. The Bishop stated that all over the diocese, 120 
miles in length, he hadfound the common people " very tractable, and 
nowhere more than in the furthest Parts, bordering upon Scotland." 
Enclosed with the report were certain documents, including : — A Decree 
of Edward, Earl of Derby, William Downham, Bishop of Chester, and 
others. Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in the case of certain persons of 
Lancashire, charged with recusancy, issued from Lathom, 31st July, 
1568; and among answers made by divers persons to the articles 
objected against them by the Commissioners, those of John Talbot, 
of Bashall ; and of Edward Osbaldeston, son of John Osbaldeston, of 
Osbaldeston. Another enclosed document was the articles preferred 
by the Commissioners against Sir John Southworth, of Samlesbury, Knt., 
" for not rep.airing to Church, nor receiving the sacrament, and for speak- 
ing against the Book of Common Prayer." Sir John Southworth was 
especially obnoxious to the ruling powers ; and Bishop Downham, in his 
report, cites a copy of a form of submission that had been presented 
to Sir John, by order of the Privy Council, but which the Knight 
refused to subscribe. The form of submission is appended : — 

Whereas I, Sir John Southworth, Knt., forgetting my duty towards God and the 
Queen's Majesty in not considering my due Obedience for the observation of the 
Ecclesiastical Laws and Orders of this Realm, had received into my house and Com- 
pany, and there relieved, certain Priests, who have not only refused the Ministry, but 
also in my hearing have spoken against the present State of Religion, established by 
her Majesty and the States of her Realm in Parliament, and have also otherwise mis- 
behaved myself in not resorting to my Parish Church at Common Prayer, nor receiv- 
ing the Holy Communion so often times as I ought to have done ; — I do now, by these 
Presents, most humbly and unfeignedly submit myself to her Majesty, and am heartily 
sorry for mine oflfence in this Behalf, both towards God and her Majesty. And do 
further promise to her Majesty from henceforth, to obey all her Majesty's Authority in 
all Matters of Religion and Orders Ecclesiastical ; and to behave myself therein as 
becometh a good, humble, and obedient subject ; and shall not impugn any of the said 
Laws and Ordinances by any open Speech or by Writing, or Act of mine own ; nor 
willingly suffer any such in my Company to offend, whom I may reasonably let or 
disallow. Nor shall assist, maintain, relieve, or comfort any Person living out of this 
Realm, being known to be an Offender against the said Laws and Orders now 
established for godly Religion, as is aforesaid. And in this doing, I firmly trust to 


have her Majesty my gracious and good Lady, as hitherto I, and all other her subjects, 
have marvellously tasted of her Mercy and Goodness. 

In the reign of Mary, Sir John Southworth had been highly 
regarded by the Court, and he held the office of High Sheriff of the 
County even after the accession of Elizabeth. In October, 1557, 
Lord Eure and Lord Wharton had addressed a letter on the subject of 
military affairs in the North to the Earl of Shrewsbury in which the 
following reference to Sir John Southworth occurs : — " We named Sir 
John Southworth his going away : hee hath made request that wee 
would be a means to your lordship that hee might continue in service 
here with his hundred men, and to have also putt to his leading another 
hundred men. Hee sayes hee is a younge man and desirous to know 
service in warr, and as we think him to bee commended therein, being 
a toward and tall gentilman, wee require your lordship to favour this 
his honest suit." But their knowledge of the state of feeling in these 
parts which led to the Roman Catholic " Rebellion of the North," in 
the autumn of 1569, rendered Elizabeth's counsellors more distrustful 
than they had formerly been of any of the leading gentry known to be 
devoted to the Roman interest. After the suppression of that revolt, 
inquiries were made about persons in Lancashire who were believed to 
be concerned in it. In February, 1575-6, the Bishop of Chester wrote 
to the Privy Council, forwarding an account of all persons in the 
diocese who had been known to " refuse to come to the church," 
distinguishing those who had conformed on admonition from those who 
still " remained in their wilfulness." From the " Blagbume Deanry " 
the following names were rendered :— 

Blagburne Deanry. — Obstinate. 
John Sothworth Knight and ladie his wief. 
Thomas Sothworth his sonne and heir. 
John Sothworth, gent. , sonne to John Sothworth, Kt. 
Anne Sothworth his daughter. Dorothie Sothworth [Rushton] his sister. 
John Talbot, ar. John Townley, ar. and his wief. 
Thomas Catherall, ar. and his wief. 
* Henrie Lowe, junior. Margaret Lowe, Vid. 
James Hargreves. Lucie Townlie. 

John Yate, sonne to John Townley, ar. 
Ellen Banester, Uxor Roberta Banester, gent 
Anne Townley, Uxor Henrie Townley, gent. 
Jenet Paslowe, Uxor Francis Paslowe, gent. 
John Rishton, gent. John Rishton, husbandman. 
Randle Ferrand. Richard Wodde. Richard Hinley. 

William Rishton, gent, and his wief. Ellen Rishton, Vid. 
Gilbert Rishton, gent, and his wief. I^u. Whittacre, gent 



Among the papers of Bishop Chaderton are found evidences of 
the proceedings taken in Lancashire, about the years 1 581-4, for the 
prosecution of priests and recusants. In 1581, Sir John Southworth, 
Knt., had been arrested and committed to prison in the New Fleet at 
Manchester, one of the charges against him being that of har- 
bouring at Samlesbury Hall the Jesuit Edmund Campion. By a 
missive dated June 22d, 1581, the Lords in Council wrote to the Earl 
of Derby and the Bishop of Chester, stating that humble suit had 
been made to the Council by Sir John Southworth, lately committed by 
the Earl and Bishop to the New Fleet in Manchester for his obstinacy 
in popery, to be suffered to abide at his own house upon bonds for his 
forthcoming, or else to have a servant to attend upon him in the prison. 
If (says the letter) Sir John will enter into bonds with sureties in good 
sums to observe the conditions offered to such recusants as are set at 
liberty, that he may be enlarged. If not, then to remain in prison, with 
a servant to attend him, till he shall conform according to the laws. 
In a postscript, the Council say they have yielded to Sir John's petition 
for his children to have access to him in prison. On September 7th in 
the same year, the Earl of Huntingdon, President of the North, wrote 
to the Bishop of Chester to keep a watch for Campion, who, he was 
sure, had been in different parts of Lancashire. He named Richard 
Simpson, formerly a schoolmaster at Gisburne, Yorkshire, but now a 
recusing priest, who was sometimes at Skillicorne's (of Frees, Kirkham), 
sometimes at Tarbott's (Talbot's) of Salesbury, and at Westb/s. On 
the 7th of December, the Lords in Counf'' wrote to the Earl and 
Bishop, notifying their choice of Manchester " for bestowing the 
recusants of the diocese," as being more convenient than Chester 
Castle ; and remarked that if all the recusants were committed to one 
place, their diet would be more easy to their keepers, for of the few at 
Manchester, but one (probably Sir John Southworth) was able to bear 
his own charges. In January, 1582, the Council write that they were 
glad to find that the imprisoned recusants had been removed from Ches- 
ter Castle to the New Fleet in Manchester ; and go on to commend the 
Earl and Bishop for their care and diligence in the search of Talbofs 
house in Salesbury, and bid them convey the thanks of the Queen and 
Council to Lord Strange for his towardness, and to Messrs. Atherton and 
Banister, who assisted him in that service ; the schoolmaster there (at 
Salesbury) apprehended to be proceeded against by law, and search to 
be made for the priest and others known to have been there at Christ- 
mas. And seeing, by the family not going to church and the supersti- 
tious stuff found in the house, they probably went further, that point 
should be inquired after, and every of them proceeded against according 


to law. In the course of the same letter the Lords in Council say, that 
as some persons evil-minded to religion make great account of the abode 
of Sir John Southvvorth in London (whither he had been temporarily 
transported), as though he had received great favour, to the Papists' 
encouragement and the defacing of the Ecclesiastical Commission and 
their lordships' authority. Sir John is to repair to Manchester, to remain 
there, and to be there ordered as the Earl and Bishop see cause. Febru- 
ary 25th, 1582, the Council wrote to Henry Earl of Derby that Sir John 
Southworth had been commanded to appear before him, and they had 
caused bond to be taken of Sir John for his personal appearance before the 
Earl on or before the 2 5th of March. If still obstinate, the recusant Knight 
was to be recommitted to the prison at Manchester, with liberty only to 
walk abroad at times, in the open air of the gardens or open places about 
the college, in company of his keeper, and then not to confer with any 
one. In another letter of the 4th September the Lords in Council 
inform the Earl and Bishop that great suit having been made to them on 
behalf of Sir John Southworth, in respect of his age and former good 
services, the Council were content that he should receive as much favour 
as lawfully might be, and their lordships are directed to examine into a 
statement that this prisoner was surcharged in the fees of his diet and 
lodging, above the rates set down and used in the London Fleet Prison. 
In the year following (1583), on the 7th of February, the Council wrote 
to Lord Derby and the Bishop of Chester, agreeing with their reasons 
why Sir John Southworth should not have his liberty further than that of 
walking with his keeper in Aldport Park and in the College Garden ; 
but added that he might be allowed at all times to talk and confer with 
others on his private affairs, in the presence of Mr. Worsley or such as 
he shall appoint. Lord Burleigh, in a letter of the 20th November, 
1583, wrote to the Earl and Bishop, that Sir John Southworth, prisoner 
for matters of religion in the New Fleet at Manchester, had complained 
of some extreme dealing by Mr. Worsley, the Warden ; this was denied 
by Mr. Worsley, and the Earl and Bishop were wished to inquire into 
the allegations of " abridging him of his ordinary walk, diet, and such like 
matters." More letters passed between the authorities during the year 
1584 on the subject of Sir John Southworth's imprisonment and treat- 
ment. On February 23rd, the Council wrote to the Earl of Derby, the 
Bishop, Sir John Byron, Mr. Edmund Trafford, &c., stating that Sir 
John Southworth's son having besought for his father more liberty and 
better usage, Mr. Worsley had shown that Sir John had been more 
strictly confined for refusing to be present at grace before and after meals, 
and at the reading of chapters out of the Old and New Testament, as at 
first he was wont to do. Nevertheless, his son having undertaken that 


Sir John should do this again, and behave himself in good and decent 
manner in the prison, and Mr. Worsley being contented that he should 
have such favour as theretofore, and only to take 13s. 4d. weekly for his 
diet, and to allow him such liberty of walking as their lordships should 
think meet, the Commissioners were instructed that they might suffer Sir 
John to have at convenient times the liberty of walks, and Mr. Worsley 
to take no more of him than he had promised to the Council. On the 
2nd May, Sir Francis Walsingham wrote to the Bishop of Chester that 
the Privy Council, having been informed that Sir John Southworth pro- 
posed to disinherit his eldest son, only because he was not, like the 
father, ill-affected, but well given in religion, and to dispose his lands to 
his other children, the Bishop was bidden to learn what he could of Sir 
John's proposal, so that in case the bad father had so ill a meaning 
towards his eldest and best son, some order might be taken to stay his 
purpose, and to preserve the inheritance for his right heir. In another 
letter from the Council of the 24th May, it transpires that Sir John 
Southworth had again complained against Mr. Worsley, his keeper, who 
had answered the complaint, but the Council sent both complaint and 
answer to the Bishop to be examined into, and directed him to take Sir 
John's bond to the Queen for j^S°° fo'' h'^ repairing with all speed to 
London to attend before the Council, but before he went he was to pay 
Mr. Worsley all money due for his diet. Again, on the sth July, 1584, 
the Lords in Council wrote to the Earl and Bishop, stating that both Sir 
John Southworth and Mr. Townley having paid their fines according to 
law, they cannot be longer imprisoned, for that would be a double 
punishment for one offence ; still, as the Council thought them, at liberty, 
more dangerous in Lancashire (where they were greatly allied and 
friended), than in London, it was considered better to bind them to 
remain in the metropolis ; besides, some of them had pretended diseases 
and sickness, and demanded the best advice ; so that they could not 
touch the honour or credit of the Earl and Bishop, or boast of favour or 
friendship at Court ; but if their lordships thought it necessary for their 
own credit's sake or in good policy, the Council would send them back 
to Lancashire. Finally, on July 13th in the same year, the Council 
wrote to the Earl and Bishop that Sir John Southworth's son having been 
a suitor for his removal to London, the Council were willing he should 
be allowed to come up, both from the son's good character, and to pro- 
mote his father's good will to him. But if the Earl and Bishop were 
against it, the Council had no more to say.' 

The Harleian MSS. furnish documents containing the names of 
all bishops, doctors and priests, prisoners in the Fleet for religion since 

I Chaderton Corresp., in Peck's Desid. Curiosa. 


the first year of Queen Elizabeth (1558). Among the persons who, on 
the loth of September, 1586, were reported as "detected for receiptinge 
priests, seminaries, &c., in the County of Lancaster," are mentioned 
the cases given below of residents in the Parish of Blackburn : — 

This appeareth by the presentment of Ralph Serjeant, Churchwarden of Walton- 
in-le-Dale. — Jane Eyves, of Fish wick, widow, receipted [received] Sir Evan Banister, an 
old priest, &c. 

This appeareth by the presentment of Law. Procter, swome man of Brihilt. — One 
Duckson, an old priest, continueth in Samlesburye by common report. 

This appeareth by the presentment of the Vicar of Whalley. — ^John Lawe, a 
seminary Priest, receipted in divers parts of Lancashire, as specially in the parishes of 
Ormskirk, Preston, Blackburne, and Whalley. 

This appeareth by the presentment of Tho. Sherples. — James Cowper, a seminary 
Priest, receipted, relieved, and maintained at the Lodge of Sir John .Sowthworthe in 
Samlesburie Park by Mr. Tho. Sowthworthe, one of the younger sons of the said Sir 
John ; and at the house of John Warde dwellinge in Samlesburie Parke side ; and the 
said Priest sayeth Mass at the said Lodge and at the said Warde's house. Whither 
resorte, Mr. Sowthworthe, Mistress Ann Sowthworthe, John Walmesley, servante to 
.Sir John Sowthworthe, Tho. Sowthworthe dwelling in the Park, John Gerrerde, ser- 
vant to Sir John Sowthworthe, John Singleton, John Wrighte, James .Sherples, 
junior, John Warde of Samlesburie, John Warde of Meller the elder, Henry Potter of 
Meller, John Goulden of Winwick, Thomas Goulden of the same, Robt. Anderton 
of Samlesburie and John Sherples of Stanleyhurst, in Samlesburie. . . This 
also appearethe by the presentment of Tho. Sherples. — At the house of James Sherples 
in Samlesburie was a Masse done on Candlemas Day by one Henry Dueson alias 
Harry Duckesson. And these persons were at it, viz. — John Sherples of Stanleyhurst 
in Samlesburie and his wife, and his son Thomas and his daughter Ann, and Rodger 
Sherples and his wife, and Richard .Sherples, and the wife of Harry Sherples, and the 
wife of Hugh Welchman, and Thomas Harrisson, and the wife of Thomas Welchman 
the elder, the wife of John Chitome, Robt. Blackehay, Thomas Duckesson of Hough- 
ton, James Duckesson, the wife of Harrie Bonne. . . At the Lodge in Samlesburie 
Parke there be masses daily and Seminaries diverse resorte thither, as James Cowpe, 
Harrisson, Bell, and such like ; the like unlawful meetings are made daily at the house 
of John Warde, by the Park side of S-amlesburie, all whiche matters, masses, resorte 
to Masses, receipting of .Seminaries, will be justified [substantiated] by Mr. Adam 
Sowthworthe, Thomas Sherples, and John Osbaldston.^ 

The last documentary evidence of the prosecution of the lord of 
Samlesbury for his religion is found in the Egcrton Papers, and is 
an " Inventorie of such superstitious thinges as were found in Sir John 
Southworth his house at Samlesburie, by Richard Brereton, Esq., one 
of her Majesties Justices of the peace, at a search made there, 21st 
November, 1592," and is accompanied by the names of persons then 
dwelling at Samlesbury Hall, about forty in number.'^ Sir John South- 
worth died in 1595. 

About the year 1585, at a time when the Queen, the Privy Council, 

I Baines's Histr of Lane. v. i, p. i8o. 2 Croston's Hist, of S.imlesb. Hail, p. 173. 

FREE TENANTS IN a.d. 1600. 



Parliament, and the Country were not a little purturbed by the revelation 
of a plot for the dethronemeut of Elizabeth, it was deemed meet that 
the principal nobility and gentry of Lancashire who were loyally 
disposed should unite in a public declaration of their allegiance to the 
Queen and the national establishment of religion. Appended to the 
declaration are eighty-three signatures, headed by the name of Henry, 
Earl of Derby. The names of those signatories who resided or had 
properties in the Parish of Blackburn, are, Thomas Hesketh, Thomas 
Hoghton, Rychard Ashton, Edward Osbaldeston, Thomas Talbot, 
Rauffe Ashton, Robert Langton, and Edward Braddell. 

On the i8th day of June, 1588, Queen Elizabeth, from her Manor 
of Greenwich, issued a proclamation to the Earl of Derby, Lord- 
Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, calling for the supply of as 
great a quantity of munitions of war as these counties could furnish, to 
assist the Government in withstanding the Spanish invasion. Lanca- 
shire responded loyally with men and arms to the Queen's appeal, and 
sent a large contingent to the English army marshalled to repel the 
expected attack by the Annada of Spain. A month after the royal 
summons to Lancashire, on the 19th of July, 1588, the Spanish Fleet 
arrived in the English Channel. The story of the repulse of this 
invasion is universally familiar. 

Harleian MS. No. 2042, in the British Museum Library, contains 
lists of Free Tenants in all the Lancashire Hundreds, made out in the 
year 1600 (43rd Eliz.). From the " Free Tenants within the Hundred 
of Blackebume" I extract the names of such Freeholders as were 
resident in the Parish of Blackburn : — 

Thomas Southworth of Samlesbury, Esq. 
Thomas Langton of Walton, Esq. 
John Osbaldeston of Osbaldeston, Esq. 
[John] Talbot of Salesbury, Esq. 
Edward Walmisley of Banister Hall, Esq. 
Edward Braddyll of Brockhole, Esq. 
Thomas Astley of Astley [Stakes], gent. 
William Walton of Walton, gent. 
Jlenry Lussell of Osbaldeston, gent. 
Ralph Holden of Ewood, gent 
James Aspden of Arley, gent. 
Richard Whithalgh of Livesey, gent. 
Richard Livesey of Feamhurst, gent. 
John Parker of Loveley, gent. 
Robert Barker of Wheetley, gent. 
Hugh Marsden of Tockholes, gent. 

Edward Gillibrand of Ramesgreave, gent. 
Robert Woodrufle of Walton, gent. 
Henry Speake of Biilington, gent. 
Thomas Ainsworth of Pleasington, gent. 
Lawrence Du.xburie of Gt. Harwood, gent. 
Robert Cunliffe of vSamlesbury, gent. 
John Clayton of Little Hanvood, gent. 
John Dawson of Walton, gent. 
Henry Morley of Braddyll, gent. 
[ ] Parker of Hole House, gent. 

Chiistopher Marsden of Tockholes, gent. 
Thomas Stanley of Mellor, gent. 
Christopher Smith of Bankhead, gent. 
Thomas Witton of Green Tockholes, gent. 
[John] Livesey of Feniscolles, gent. 
Nicholas Grimshaw of Okenhurst, gent. 



Accession of James I. — Loyal Address — Military Muster in i6oS — Subsidy Assessment in 1611 — Sam- 
lesbury Witchcraft Trials in 1612 — James I. at Hoghton Tower — Ship-Money Levy in 1635 — Civil 
War [1641-51], Local Transactions and Operations — Rupture between King and Parliament — 
County Meeting at Preston— Royalist Preparations for War— Parliamentarian Organization in 
Blackburn Hundred — Militia called out — Blackburn occupied by Sir Gilbert Hoghton — Retaken 
by Colonel Shuttleworth — Second Royalist Attack on Blackburn repulsed^Ambush at Salesbury 
Hall — Roundhead Assault upon Preston — Tragedy at Hoghton Tower — Preston recovered by the 
Earl of Derby, and Blackburn occupied — Battle at Whalley and Retreat of Royalists — Further 
Roundhead successes — Passage of Rupert's Army and Fight at Blackburn — Col. Nicholas Shuttle- 
worth at Blackburn— Skirmish at Walton — Distress in Lancashire — Sequestration of Royalist 
Estates — Presbytery Established in the County— Campaign of 164S— Battle at Preston and Walton 
— Cromwell's Despatches — Colours taken in the Battle— Petition to Parliament from Blackburn 
Hundred — Fight at Brindle and Walton in 1651 — Further Parliamentary Sequestrations — Restora- 
tion of Monarchy — Act of Uniformity — Its local results — Nonconformist Congregations — Subsidy 
Assessment in 1663 — Prosecution of Nonconformists — Revolution of 1688. 

QUEEN ELIZABETH died March 24th, 1602-3, and with her 
ended the Tudor line of English Sovereigns. James Stuart, 
'"^^^ King of Scotland, was acknowledged as rightful successor to the 
throne, and was proclaimed as James the First of England. On his 
accession, seventy-nine Lancashire gentry presented a loyal address to 
the new monarch. The following proprietors in the parish signed the 
address : — Sir Richard Hoghton, Knt., lord of Hoghton and Walton-in- 
le-Dale ; Randal Barton, Esq., lord of Blackburn and Smithells ; Thomas 
Southworth, Esq., lord of Samlesbury ; John Osbaldeston, Esq., lord of 
Osbaldeston ; William Farrington, Esq., of Worden and Audley in 
Blackburn ; Sergeant Thomas Walmesley, of Dunkenhalgh and Hacking 
in Billington, the Judge of Common Pleas ; John Braddyll, Esq., of 
Portfield and Brockhole in Billington ; and Robert Hesketh, Esq., lord 
of Great Harwood and Rufiford. King James's progress from Edin- 
burgh to London occupied from the 6th of April, 1603, to the 7th of 
May ; and during the journey he conferred the honour of knighthood 


upon two hundred of the gentry. Among the knights created at this time 
were Sir Thomas Walmesley and Sir Thomas Hesketh. 

Considerable tracts of land were emparked on the estates of the chief 
landholders in this part of Lancashire in the reign of the First James. 
Speed's Map of Lancashire, drawn in the year 16 10, affords information as 
to the principal park-lands at that time, which are indicated on the map by 
a paled circle. Osbaldeston Hall is shown by Speed surrounded by a large 
park, of which no traces now remain, and Samlesbury Hall likewise is 
the centre of a paled ring, denoting a park enclosure. In a somewhat 
older map than Speed's, made about the year 1598, by one William 
Smith, there are but two of these paled circles in the Parish, those of 
Martholme Park, on the Hyndbum and Calder, the seat of the Heskeths 
of Martholme and Rufford ; and the Park around Samlesbury Hall, the 
seat of the Southworths. Neither of these estates is now imparked to 
any extent. 

In the 6th James I (1608), there was ordered a general muster of 
men-at-anns in Lancashire, the returns of which are preserved in the 
Harleian collections. The return from Blackburn Hundred is headed : — 

Blackebume Hundreth mustered by Sr. Edmund Trafford and Rychard Holland, Esq. , 

att Blackebume, the 26 of September, i6o8. 

{Particulars of Musters from Townships in Blackburn Parish.] 

Muskettes. Caliverers. Bills. Archers. Corselettes. 

Osbaldeston — I — 2 i 

Balderstone .... - 2 I 14 2 — 

Witton .......I — 4 I — 

Walton I 2 10 S — 

Pleasington - — I 7 ^ — 

Tockholes-cum-Lyvesey . - — 7 28 3 2 

Cuerdale ...... — 3 — — — 

Upper Derwin ■■■■3 6 i 6 — 

Billington I 3 16 13 — 

Rishton .......— 8 20 8 5 

Samlesburye ..... — 6 8 15 — 

Clayton-in-le-Daile ... — — — — — 

Blackbume — 5 21 II — 

Lower Derwin — 22 17 3 16 

Mellor-cum-Eccleshill .-- — 6 18 7 — 

Wilpshire-cum-Dinkley - - — — S '° ' 

Harwood Magna .... — 7 7 2 2 

Harwood Parva .... — 6 9 2 3 

Salesburye 3 ^^ 4 — — 

At this muster a little army of 1453 men of various arms was 
gathered out of the Hundred at Blackburn for review. 


I copy from the Subsidy Rolls the appended local assessments to a 
Subsidy levied in 16 11. The parchment is headed: — "Amount of 



Assessment upon each Inhabitant chargeable to the Second payment of 
Subsidy granted 7 th James I. within the Hundred of Blackburne." 

[In Blackburn Parish.] 
Blagburne — 

John Gelybrand, in goods 

Thomas Haworth, in goods 

John Livesey, in goods ... 

William Sudall, in goods 

William Haworthe, in goods 

Thos. Sothworth, Esq. , in lands 

Richard Blakey, in goods 

William Alcar, in goods 

John Dewhurst, in goods 

Ilenrie Cowbume, in goods 
Harwod Magna — 

Lawrence Ducksburie, in lands... 

William Hindle, in goods 

John Harwood, in goods 

George Cockshott, in goods 

Antonio Bleuet, gent., in lands ... 
. Henrie Speake, in lands ... . ... 

Richard ffoole, in goods ... 

Richard Chewe, in goods... 

John Sclater, in goods 
Pleasington — 

Margaret Ainsworth, Widow, in lands ... 

John Smith, in lands 

James Astley, in lands 

John Livesey, in lands ... 

Richard Ainsworth, in goods 

William Marsden, in goods 

Oliver Whalley, in goods 
Cuerdale — 

Edward [ ] of Ellen [ ] 

William Cowpe, in goods 

William Sudall, in goods... 
Mellor-cum-Eccleshill — 

Edward Gelybrande, in lands ... 

James Ward, in lands 

Richard Walmsley, in goods 

Richard Ireland, in goods 

George Hey, in goods 

Rauf ffishe, in goods 

Thomas .Shorrocke, in goods ... 
Walton-in-le-Daile — 

Robert Woodruffe, gent., with William 
Osbaldeston, in lands ... 

William Walton, in lands ... 

Thomas Leighe, in goods 













£2(> 13s. 6d. 37s. 8d. 


















2S. 8d. 








3s. ' 




2s. 8d. 




































Walton-in-le-Daile — 

Relict of Edward Jackson, in goods .. 

Relict of Edward Bawden, in goods 

Relict of James Woodcocke, in goods . . 

Richard Woodcocke, in goods ... 

Oliver Toogood, in goods 

Nicholas Langton, in goods 

George Hawkshead, in goods ... 

Thomas Gorton, in goods 

Ewan Catterill, in goods . . 

Thomas Conwell, in goods 

Relict of Henrie Banestre, in goods 

James Livesey, gent. , in lands ... 

Thomas Astley, gent., in lands ... 

James Whithalghe, in lands 

Myles Marsden, inlands... 

Randal Holden, in goods... 

Matthew Walkden, in goods 

Hugh Marsden, in goods... 

John Houghton, in goods 

Alexander Waddington, in goods 

John Dewhurst, gent. , in lands ... 

George Talbott, in lands... 

William Smith, in goods... 

Oliver ffeilden, in goods ... 

James Ward, in goods ... 

Richard Craven, in goods 
Harwod Parva — 

John Cleyton, inlands ... 

Randall Rishton, in lands 

William Rishton, in goods 

Richard Paidge, in goods 
Saleburie — 

John Talbott, Esq., in lands 

Richard Parker, gent., in lands 

Robert Barker, in lands... 

Thomas Holden, in lands 

Margaret Cowburne, in lands ... 
Nether Darwin — 

Lawrence Haworth, in goods ... 

Henrie Crosse, in goods ... 

Edward Hanvood, in goods 
Ci.eyton-in-le-Daile — 

Edward Lawe, in goods ... 

John Calvard, in goods ... 

Uxor of John Hesmenhalghe, in goods 

Uxor of Richard Walmisley, in goods... 


























2s. 8d. 




2s. 8d. 


2s. 8d. 












2s. 8d. 










3s. ' 


2s. 8d. 








6s. 8d. 

















































/i6 13s. 4d. 

22s. 2^d 


2S. 8d. 








2s. 8d.. 







George Livesey, in goods 

Thomas Livesey, in goods 

James Whalley, in goods 

Henrie Duckworthe, in goods ... 

Uxor of Exhvard Rishton, in goods^ 

Thomas Abbott, in goods 

John Hindle of Tottleworth, in goods . . . 

Thurstan ffeilden, in goods 
Balderston — 

Roger Smaley, in lands ... 

John Osbaldeston, in lands 

William Bolton, in goods 

Robert Sykes, in goods ... 

Edward Osbaldeston, Esq., in lands- ... 

Richard Brookes, in lands 

Henrie 1/UsseIls, in Jands 

Lawrence Osbaldeston, in lands 

Thomas Hackin, in goods 
Upper Darwin — 

Mr. John Crosse, in lands 

The heires of John Baron, in lands ... 

Henrie Livesey, in goods 


The year 161 2 was marked by the trial at Lancaster of a number 
of persons charged with witchcraft. In the summer of that year, 
nineteen persons were lying in Lancaster Castle awaiting trial on this, 
at that time, capital charge. Ten of these belonged to the district of 
Pendle Forest ; one resided at Gisburn, in Craven ; one at Windle, 
near Prescot ; and eight others were from the township of Samlesbury, 
in this parish. Most of the accused from Pendle Forest were convicted, 
sentenced to death, and executed ; but the so-called witches of 
Samlesbury were fortunate enough to be acquitted. A curious record 
of their trial is preserved, from which the following particulars of the 
Samlesbury cases are derived.' 

The persons arrested and committed for trial from this township 
were, Jennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley, Jane Southworth, John Ramesden, 
Elizabeth Astley, Alice Grey, Isabel! Sidegreaves, and Lawrence Haye. 
Only three of them appear to have been arraigned at the assizes — Jennet 
Bierley, Ellen Bierley, and Jane Southworth. The chronicler introduces 
his report of their trial with a reference to them as " the famous^ 
witches of Samlesbury, as the countrey called them, who, by such a 

I Potts' Discov. of Witches in Co. Lane, Ed. by Crossley (Cheth. Soc. Publ.) 


subtill practice and conspiracie of a seminarie Priest, or as the best in 
this honorable assembly thinke, a Jesuite, whereof this countie of 
Lancaster hath good store," &c., " are now brought to the barre, to 
receive their triall, and such a young witness prepared and instructed to 
give evidence against them, that it must be the act of God that must be 
the means to discover their practices and Murthers." Thus writes 
perspicacious Master Potts, and then, with an apparent self-contradic- 
tion, observes " how and in what sort Almighty God delivered them 
from the stroake of death, when the Axe was laid to the Tree, and 
made frustrate the practice of this bloudie Butcher ;" that is, of the 
Jesuit priest, their accuser. 

The three prisoners, Jennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley, and Jane 
Southworth, were placed at the bar together to stand their trial. The 
indictment was that they had feloniously " practised, exercised, and 
used diverse devillish and wicked arts, called Witchcraft, Inchauntments, 
Charmes, and Soceries, in and upon one Grace Sowerbutts, so that by 
means thereof her bodie wasted and consumed," &c. The prisoners 
pleaded not guilty. 

The first witness against them was Grace Sowerbutts herself, the 
supposed subject of their sorceries. She is described as "the daughter 
of Thomas Sowerbutts, about the age of fourteene yeares." Her lather 
is mentioned in the record as "Thomas Sowerbutts, of Samlesbury, 
in the countie of Lancaster, husbandman." The account Master Potts 
gives of this girl's testimony is so curious in many points, and so 
characteristic of the strange superstitions and dark imaginings of the 
people in regard to witches and their practices and powers, that it is 
worth while to insert the deposition in full. Grace Sowerbutts swore : — 

That for the space of some years now last past shee hath beene haunted and vexed 
with some women, who have used to come to her ; which women, shee sayth, were 
Jennet Bierley, this Informer's Grandmother ; Ellen Bierley, wife to Henry Bierley ; 
Jane Southworth, late the wife of John Southworth ; and one Old Doewife, all of 
Samlesburie aforesaid. And shee saith, that now lately those foure women did vio- 
lently draw her by the haire of the head, and layd her on the toppe of a Hay-mowe, in 
the said Henry Bierleyes Bame. And she saith further, that not long after, the said 
Jennet Bierley did meet (her) neare unto the place where shee dwelleth, and first 
appeared in her owne likenesse, and after that in the likenesse of a black Dogge, and as 
(witness) did goe over a style, shee picked [pitched or pushed] her off; howbeit shee 
saith shee had no hurt then, but rose againe, and went to her Aunt's in Osbaldeston, 
and returned back againe to her Father's house the same night, being fetched home by 
her father. That in her way homewards she did then tell her father how shee had 
beene dealt withall both then and at sundry times before that ; and before that time 
shee never told any body thereof ; and being examined why she did not, shee sayth, 
shee could not speake thereof, though she desired so to doe. And she further sayth, 
that upon Saterday, being the fourth of this instant April, (witness) going towards 



Salmesbury bote [boat] to meete her mother coming from Preston, shee saw the said 
Jennet Bierley, who met (her) at a place called the Two Brigges, first in her owne shape, 
and afterwards in the likenesse of a blacke Dogge, with two legges, which dogge went 
close by the left side of (witness), till they came to a Pitte of Water, and then the said 
Dogge spake, and persuaded this Examinate to drowne her selfe there, saying, it was 
a faire and an easie death. Whereupon this Examinate thought there came one to her 
in a white sheete, and carried her away from the said pitte, upon the coming whereof 
the said blacke dogge departed away ; and shortly after the said white thing departed 
also. And after (she) had gone further on her way, about the length of two or three 
fields, the said black dogge did meete her againe, and going on her left side, as afore- 
said, did carrie her into a bame of one Hugh Walshmans, neere thereby, and layed (her) 
upon the bame floore, and covered (her) with straw on her bodie, and haye on her 
head, and the dogge itselfe lay on the toppe of the said straw, but how long the said 
dogge lay there, this examinate cannot tell, nor how long her selfe lay there, for she 
sayth, that upon her lying downe there, as aforesaid, her speech and senses were taken 
from her, and the first time shee knew where shee was, shee was layed upon a bedde 
in the said Walshmans house, which (as shee hath since beene told) was upon the Mon- 
day at night following ; and shee was also told, that shee was found and taken from 
the place where shee first lay, by some of her friends, and carried into the said Walsh- 
mans house, within a few hours after shee was layed in the barne, as aforesaid. And 
shee further sayth, that upon the day following, being Tuesday, neere night of the same 
day, shee was fetched by her father and mother from the said Walshmans house to her 
father's house. And shee saith, that at the place before specified, called the Two 
Brigges, the said Jennet Bierley and Ellen Bierley did appeare unto her in theire owne 
shapes ; whereupon (witness) fell downe, and after that was not able to speake, or goe, 
till the Friday following ; during which time, as she lay in her father's house, the said 
Jennet Bierley and Ellen Bierley did once appear unto her in their owne shapes, but 
they did nothing unto her there, neither did shee ever see them since. And shee fur- 
ther sayth, that a good while before all this, (she) did goe with the said Jennet Bierley, 
her grandmother, and the said Ellen Bierley her aunt, at the bidding of her said grand- 
mother, to the house of one Thomas Walshman, in Salmesbury aforesaid. And coming 
thither in the night, when all the household was a-bed, the doores being shut, the said 
Jennet Bierley did open them, but this Examinate knoweth not how ; and being come 
into the said house, (witness) and the said Ellen Bierley stayed there, and the said 
Jennet Bierley went into the chamber where the said Walshman and his wife lay, and 
from thence brought a little child, which this Examinate thinketh was in bed with its 
father and mother ; and after the said Jennet Bierley had set her downe by the fire, 
with the said childe, she did thrust a naile into the navell of the said child, and after- 
wards did take a (quill) pen and put it in at the said place, and did suck there a good 
space, and afterwards laid the child in bed againe ; and then the said Jennet and the 
said Ellen returned to their owne houses, and (witness) with them. And shee thinks 
that neither the said Thomas Walshman nor his wife knew that the said child was 
taken out of the bed from them. And shee saith also, that the said child did not crie 
when it was hurt, as aforesaid ; but shee saith, that shee thinketh that the said child 
did thenceforth languish, and not long after dyed. And after the death of the said 
child, the next night after the buriall thereof, the said Jennet Bierley and Ellen Bierley, 
taking (witness) with them, went to Salmesburie Church, and there did take up the 
said child, and the said Jennet did carrie it out of the church-yard in her armes, and 
there did put it in her lap and carryed it home to her owne house, and having it there 
did boile some thereof in a Pot, and some did broile on the coales, of both of which 



tlie said Jennet and Ellen did eate, and would have had this Examinate and one Grace 
Bierley, daughter of the said Ellen, to have eaten with them, but they refused so to 
doe ; and afterwards the said Jennet and Ellen did seethe the bones of the said child 
in a pot, and with the fat that came out of the said bones they said they would arvnoint 
themselves, that thereby they might sometimes change themselves into other shapes. 
And after all this being done, they said they would lay the bones againe in the grave 
the next night following, but whether they did so or not, this Examinate knoweth not ; 
neither doth she know how they got it out of the grave at the first taking of it up. 
And being further sworn and examined, she deposeth and saith, that about half a yeare 
agoe, the said Jennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley, Jane Southworth, and this (witness) [who 
went by the appointment of the said Jennet her grandmother], did meete at a place 
called Red banck, upon the North side of the water of Ribble, every Thursday and 
Sunday at night by the space of a fortnight, and at the water side there came unto 
them, as they went thither, four black things, going upright, and yet not like men in 
the face ; which foure did carrie the said three women and (witness) over the Water, 
and when they came to the said Red Banck they found something there which they did 
eate. But (witness) saith she never saw such meate ; and therefore she durst not eate 
thereof, although her said Grandmother did bidde her eate. And after they had eaten, 
the said three Women and (witness) danced, every one of them with the blacke things 
aforesaid. . . (Witness) further saith upon her oth, that about ten dayes after her 
Examination taken at Blackbome, shee being then come to her Father's house againe, 
after shee had been certaine dayes at her Unckles house in Houghton, Jane South- 
worth, widow, did meet (witness) at her Fathers house dore and did carrie her into the 
loft, and there did lay her upon the floore, where shee was shortly found by her Father 
and brought downe, and laid in a bed, as afterwards shee was told ; for shee saith, that 
from the first meeting of the said Jane Southworth, shee (witness) had her speech and 
senses taken from her. But the next day, shee saith, she came somewhat to herselfe, 
and then the said Widow Southworth came againe to (witness) to her bed-side, and 
tooke her out of bed, and said to (her) that shee now would after doe to her, and 
thereupon put her upon a hay-stack, standing some three or foure yards high from the 
earth, where shee was found after great search made, by a neighbour's Wife near 
dwelling, and then laid in her bedde againe, where shee remained speechlesse and 
senselesse as before, by the space of two or three daies. And being recovered, within 
a weeke after, shee saith, that the said Jane Southworth did come againe to (witness) at 
her fathers house and did take her away, and laid her in a ditch neare to the house 
upon her face, and left her there, where shee was found shortly after, and laid upon a 
bedde, but had not her senses againe of a day and a night, or thereabouts. And shee 
further saith. That upon Tuesday last before the taking of thi.s her Examination, the 
said Jane Southworth came to (witness's) Fathers house, and finding (witness) without 
the doore, tooke her and carried her into the Bame, and thrust her head amongst a 
companie of boords that were there standing, where shee was shortly after found and 
laid in a bedde, and remained in her old fit till the Thursday at night following. And 
being further examined touching her being at Red-banck, shee saith. That the three 
women, by her before named, were carried backe againe over Ribble by the same 
blacke things that carried them thither ; and saith that at their said meeting in the 
Red-banck, there did come also divers other women, and did meet them there, some 
old, some young, which (witness) thinketh did dwell upon the North side of the 
Ribble, because shee saw them not come over the water, but (she) knew none of them, 
neither did shee see them eate or dance, or doe anything else that the rest did, saving 
that they were there and looked on. 



. Such was the extraordinary yet circumstantial story of this girl, 
upon the strength of which, mainly, the reputed Witches of Samlesbury 
were incarcerated and arraigned. She was afterwards moved to confess 
that the whole evidence was a cunning piece of perjury, fabricated by 
a priest to bring certain parties whom he hated under the law. The 
further evidence by which the allegations of Grace Sowerbutts were in 
part sustained, included the statement of Thomas Walshman, the 
father of the child supposed to have been bewitched to death by the 
prisoners. Thomas Walshman, on being sworn, deposed that " hee 
had a childe died about Lent twelvemonth, who had beene sicke by 
the space of a fortnight or three weekes, and was afterwards buried in 
Samlesburie Church ; which childe when it died was a yeare old ■ 
but how it came to the death of it [witness] knoweth not. And he 
further saith, that about the fifteenth of April last, or thereabouts, the 
said Grace Sowerbutts was found in [his] father's barne, laid under a 
little hay and straw, and from thence was carried into [his] house, and 
there laid until the Monday at night following, during which time she 
did not speake, but lay as if she had been dead." 

Another witness was one John Singleton, yeoman, whose deposition 
had been taken at Samlesbury, August 7th (a few days prior to the 
assize), before Robert Houlden, Esq., Justice of the Peace (Holden of 
Holden Hall, Haslingden). Singleton swore that he had "often 
heard his old master. Sir John Southworth, Knight, now deceased, say, 
touching the late wife of John Southworth, now in the gaole, for 
suspition of Witchcraft, that the said wife was as he thought an evill 
woman, and a Witch, and he said that he was sorry for her husband, 
that was his kinsman, for he thought she would kill him." The witness 
also said " that the said Sir John Southworth, in his coming or going 
between his owne house at Samlesbury and the Towne of Preston, did 
for the most part forbear to pass by the house where the said wife 
dwelled, though it was his nearest and best way ; and rode another way, 
only for feare of the said wife, as [witness] verily thinketh." A 
subsequent deposition of one William Alker, of Samlesbury, yeoman, 
taken before Mr. Justice Holden, corroborated the last witness's statement 
as to the superstitious dread felt by Sir John Southworth of Mistress 
Jane Southworth. William Alker swore " that he hath seene the said 
Sir John Southworth shunne to meet the wife of John Southworth, now 
Prisoner in the Gaole, when he came neere where she was ; and hath 
heard the said Sir John Southworth say that he liked her not, and that 
he doubted she would bewitch him." 

These references to the family of Southworth, lords of Samlesbury, 
will be rendered more intelligible by a few notes. The lady, Jane 


Southworth, who was put on trial for witchcraft, was the widow of John 
Southworth, Esq., eldest son of Thomas Southworth, Esq., son and 
heir to the Sir John Southworth whose imprisonment at Manchester 
for " recusancy " is referred to in the preceding chapter. John 
Southworth was therefore the grandson of Sir John, and the heir to the 
entailed estates, but he died young, and in the lifetime of his father, 
Thomas Southworth ; the exact date of his death is not apparent, but 
it was about 1611 or 161 2, and only, at most, a few months before his 
widow was arrested and thrown into prison as a witch. She was a 
natural daughter of Sir Richard Sherburne of Stonyhurst, and married 
John Southworth about 1598 probably, for their eldest son, Thomas 
(eventual heir to his grandfather), was born in the 42nd Elizabeth (1599- 
1600). The pair had other children, John, Richard, Gilbert, Christopher, 
Mary, Anne, and Rosamond. John Southworth and his wife resided 
at the Lower Hall, Samlesbury, and, after the husband's decease, Jane 
Southworth, the widow, had that house as a jointure, and continued to 
reside there. The seminary priest who was declared on the trial 
to have incited the girl Grace Sowerbutts to make the charge 
of witchcraft against Jane Southworth and the other females, 
called himself by the name of Thompson, but he was asserted to be 
Christopher, Southworth, fourth son of Sir John Southworth, Knt., and 
therefore uncle to John Southworth, the husband of the accused Jane 
Southworth. Christopher Southworth was a priest of the Roman Church, 
and endured a term of imprisonment in the Castle of Wisbeach for 
recusancy in Elizabeth's reign. The representation of the friends of the 
accused on her trial seems to have been that Christopher Southworth 
was inimical to John Southworth's family on account of their disposition 
to forsake the former religion of the family, Jane Southworth having 
recently entered the Protestant Church. The witness John Singleton 
had been a servant, as he alleged, of old Sir John Southworth ; and in 
Sir John's Will occurs the legacy : — " I doe give unto John Singleton, 
my servant, one Annuitie or yearly rent of 40s. for tearme of his liffe." 
The other witness, William Alker, was doubtless a son of Richard Alker, 
another retainer of the Samlesbury Knight. These two men, as recorded, 
both attested that old Sir John Southworth was in fear of Jane South- 
worth, his grandson's wife, as a witch, and made a detour to avoid her 
house when riding from Samlesbury Hall to Preston. Concerning this 
evidence, a point occurs which was not noted by the Court. Sir John 
Southworth died in 1595, seventeen years before the trial of Jane South- 
worth for witchcraft. Now, as Thomas Southworth, son and heir of Sir 
John, was born in 1561, it is not likely that he would have married 
before 1580 or 1581 ; and if his eldest son, John, had been born in 



1581, he would have been but fourteen years old at the time of Sir 
John's death in 1595. He could not have been married long before 
1600, the year of birth of his heir, Thomas. The conclusion is that 
Jane Sherburne was still in her young maidenhood in 1595, and did 
not marry John Southworth, or come to reside at Samlesbury Lower 
Hall, until three or four years after Sir John Southworth's decease. A 
reference to Sir John Southworth's Will proves explicitly that his 
grandson John Southworth was unmarried at that date. The Will is 
dated September 17th, 1595, within six weeks of the testator's death, 
which happened on November 3rd in the same year; and therein appears 
this sentence: — "The said Thomas [Sir John's son] maye," &c., "give, 
lymit, and dispose unto Rosimond now his wife," &c., " or to such 
wife as John Southworth, sonne and heire apparent of the said Thomas, 
shall marrie, a full third parte and no more of the said Mannors," &c. 
Subsequent expressions in the Will confirm the fact that John, the 
grandson, was yet unmarried, and as the testator was then lying on 
his death-bed, it was simply impossible that the old knight could ever 
have believed Jane Southworth to be a witch, or have shunned her 
house in his rides to and from Preston. The audacious perjury of this 
part of the testimony against Jane Southworth is thus demonstrated. 

Beyond the evidence of these two men, John Singleton and 
William Alker, with their figment about the terrors of their long- 
deceased master, there was absolutely no evidence to corroborate the 
extraordinary charge of Grace Sowerbutts, except the statement of 
Thomas Walshman as to the death of his child, which amounted to 
little, for infant life is of the frailest tenure. Our chronicler, Potts, adds 
that Thomas Sowerbutts, father of Grace Sowerbutts, was at length called 
before the Court. But he could depose to nothing save " the finding 
of the wench upon the hay in her counterfeit fits." The presiding 
Judge, after he had heard the whole of the evidence against the prisoners, 
demanded of them what answer they had to make ; when the accused 
" humbly upon their knees with weeping teares desired him for God's 
cause to examine Grace Sowerbutts, wjio set her on, or by whose means 
this accusation came against them." What followed is thus described : — 
" Immediately the countenance of this Grace Sowerbutts changed. 
The witnesses, being behind, began to quarrel and accuse one another. 
In the end his Lordship exanrined the girle, who could not for her life 
give any direct answer, but strangely amazed, told him shee was put to 
a master to learne, but he told her nothing of this." The Court then 
ordered the girl's father, Thomas Sowerbutts, to be re-examined, as to 
" what master taught his daughter," but the man " in general termes 
denyed all." Still the wench refused to disclose the conspiracy. But 


" in the end some of them that were present told his lordship the truth," 
and the prisoners assured the Court that the lass " went to learn with 
one Thompson, a Seminarie Priest, who had . instructed and taught her 
this accusation against them, because they were once obstinate Papists, 
and now came to church." This was the tenour of the assertion of the 
three prisoners, Jennet Bierley, Jane Southworth, and Ellen Bierley. 
The widow Southworth mentioned a meeting she had with the Priest 
who had originated the charges : — 

Jane Southworth saith she saw Master Thompson, alias Southworth, the Priest, 
a month or six weeks before she was committed to the gaole ; and had conference 
with him in a place called Barn-hey-lane, where and when shee challenged liim for 
slandering her to be a Witch ; whereuntohe answered that what he had heard thereof, 
he heard from her mother and her aunt ; yet she, this Exaniinate, thinketh in her 
heart it was by his procurement, and is moved so to thinke, for that shee would not be 
disswaded from the [Protestant] Church. ' 

The issue of the case was that the girl, Grace Sowerbutts, was 
taken out of her father's charge, by the Judge's order, and " committed 
to M. Leigh, a very religious preacher, and M. Chisnall, two Justices 
of the Peace, to be carefully examined." Being closely interrogated, 
the wench at length confessed that all the strange statements she had 
made of the witchcraft of the prisoners were utter falsehoods ; for that 
" one Master Thompson, which she taketh to be Master Christopher 
Southworth, to whom she was sent to leame her prayers, did persuade, 
counsel! and advise her " to make these singular charges against her 
grandmother, aunt, and widow Southworth. This was enough, and at 
the close of the examination of the witness and the prisoners, the 
Jury were directed to acquit the prisoners, and they were immediately 
liberated. What was done to the chief agents in the conspiracy is 


In the month of August, 16 17, King James the First made his 
return journey from Scotland to London, progressing through the length 
of Lancashire. The monarch and his retinue were at Hornby Castle 
on the nth, the guests of Lord Gerard; and on the 12th set out for 
Myerscough Lodge, near Garstang, the seat of Edward Tyldesley, Esq. 
At Myerscough the Court abode two days ; and during that interval 
many of the Lancashire gentry reached Myerscough Lodge, and made 
their obeisance to the King ; among them Sir Richard Hoghton, his 
next entertainer. From Myerscough, on the 15th, the King and his 
Court advanced to Preston, where a grand reception had been prepared. 
After the civic banquet at Preston, which must have taken place early in 
the day, — the 1 5th of August, — the Royal party sped to the next lodging- 


place, the mansion of Sir Richard Hoghton. Passing over the Ribble 
at Walton Bridge, and along the old road to Blackburn, the party had in 
full view, through the greater part of the route, the bold wooded hill of 
Hoghton, with the castellated frontage of the Tower on its summit, the 
high central tower, blown up in the Civil War, and the numerous chim- 
ney stacks of the buildings forming the quadrangles. Arrived at the foot 
of the hill upon which the Tower is built, the royal party alighted from 
their equipages and advanced in state up the grand avenue. The tradition 
is that the whole length of the avenue was laid with velvet cloth. In 
front of the Tower were assembled the tenantry of the Hoghtons, 
together with those of surrounding families, all wearing for the occasion 
the Hoghton " livery cloaks," to express the homage of neighbouring 
esquires and gentry to their King. Nicholas Assheton mentions that a 
speech was made on the arrival of his Majesty at the Tower. After this 
ceremony, although the day must have been considerably advanced, a 
short hunt in the Hoghton Park was ordered before supper was served. 
The " Journalist" closes the record of the day with the words: — "Hunted 
and killed a stagg. We attend on the Lords' table.'" 

The noblemen and gentlemen who attended King James at Hogh- 
ton Tower composed a numerous and distinguished company, including 
some of the most celebrated courtiers of the time. A list of the guests 
of Sir Richard Hoghton during these days of the King's visit has been 
preserved. Among the highest in rank were the powerful favourite of 
the monarch, Villiers, Earl and afterwards Duke of Buckingham ; the 
Earls of Richmond, Pembroke, Nottingham, and Bridgewater ; Lords 
Zouch, Knollys, Mordaunt, Grey, Stanhope, and Compton ; the Bishop 
of Chester, Dr. Moreton ; many Baronets and Knights ; and the follow- 
ing Lancashire notables : — Sir Edward Mosley, Knt., M.P. for Preston 
(1614-23); Sir Edmund Trafford, of Trafford, Knt., Sheriff of Lancashire 
in that year ; Cecil Trafford, Esq., knighted by the King at Hoghton 
Tower ; Richard Towneley, of Towneley, Esq. ; Ralph Assheton, of 
Whalley, Esq. ; Richard Sherburne, of Stonyhurst, Esq. ; Richard 
Shuttleworth, of Gawthorpe, Esq. ; Nicholas Girlington, of Thurland 
Castle, Esq. ; William Anderton, of Anderton, Esq., and one hundred 
other gentlemen of the county. 

On the i6th of August, the second day of King James's sojourn at 
Hoghton, the Royal party went out hunting in the morning ; and in the 
afternoon paid a visit to the noted Alum Mines at Alum Scar, in the 
township of Pleasington. The day was excessively sultry. The Down- 
ham " Journalist" notes : — " Aug. 16, Houghton. The King hunting : a 
great companie. Killed affore dinner a brace of staggs. Verie hott ; 

1 Journal of Nich. Assheton (Clieth. Soc. Publ.), p. 38. 


soe hee [the King] went in to dinner. Wee attend the lords' table ; and 
about 4 o'clock the King went downe to the Allome mynes, and was 
ther an hower, and viewed them preciselie, and then went and shott at a 
stagg, and missed. Then my Lord Compton had lodged two brace. 
The King shott again, and brake the thigh-bone. A dogg long in 
coming, and my Lord Compton shott again and killed him [the stag]. 
Late in to supper.'" The Alum Mine visited by the King is about a mile 
north from Hoghton Tower, on the Blackburn side of the Darwen river. 

The 1 7th of August, the tliird day of James's presence at the Tower, 
was the Sunday ; and the day was observed by the Bishop preaching in 
the great hall before the King and Court in the morning ; while the after 
part of the day was given up to amusements, including a rushbearing 
after dinner, and a grand masque in the gardens at night. Nicholas 
Assheton writes : — " Aug. 1 7, Hoghton. — Wee served the lords with 
biskett, wyne, and jellie. The Bishopp of Chester, Dr. Morton, preached 
before the King. To dinner. About four o'clock ther was a rushbearing, 
and pipeing afore them, affore the King in the middle court ; then to 
supp. Then, about ten or eleven o'clock, a maske of noblemen, knights, 
gentlemen and courtiers, afore the King, in the middle round, in the 
garden. Some speeches : of the rest, dancing the Huckler, Tom Bedlo, 
and the Cowp Justice of Peace. '"* 

The popular custom of the " rushbearing" was exhibited before the 
monarch in the afternoon of this day, and after it, probably, was pre- 
sented the memorial petition of the Lancashire peasantry and others, 
complaining to the King of the restrictions by the Queen's Commission 
in 1579, which prohibited the people from indulging in any kind of 
out-door games or sports on the Sunday, after evening prayer, or upon 
holidays. James received the petitioners graciously, and acknowledged 
the justice of the remonstrance against the prohibition of the "lawful 
recreations and honest exercises" of the " good people" of Lancashire. 
This petition is regarded as the precursor of the celebrated " Book of , 
Sports," published by royal authority, in May, 1618 ; by which "dancing, 
archery, May-games, Whitsun-ales, and May-poles" were permitted to be 
indulged in on a Sunday evening ; a liberty which, while it gratified the 
commonalty, gave such offence to religious people in Lancashire and 
elsewhere that the publication by King James, and the re-publication by 
Charles his son, of the " Book of Sports" is reckoned one of the causes 
of that revolutionary movement which hurled the Stuart monarchy from 
its seat of rule in England. 

This sportful Sunday of the Court's revel at Hoghton was wound 
up with the grand Masque in the gardens, the name of which has not 

I Journal of Nich. Assheton, p. 40. 2 lb. pp. 41-45. 



been ascertained ; but in which many of the nobles and gentlemen of 
the King's retinue were actors. Nicholas Assheton also says that " some 
speeches" were delivered on this night, and a number of curious dances 
and popular farcical representations of the period enacted ; and it was 
at some period of his stay at Hoghton that the following poetic address 
was recited before King James, the text of which has been kept in the 
archives of the Hoghton family.' 

A Speeche made to Kinge James at his cominge to Hoghton Tower, by two con- 
ceaved to be the Household Gods : the first attyr'd in a purple tafifata mantle, in one 
iand a palm-tree branch, on his head a garland of the same, and in the other hand a 

This day, great Kinge for government admired ! 
Which these thy subjects have so much desir'd. 
Shall be kept holy in their hearts' best treasure 
And vow'd to James as is this month to Caesar. 
And now the Landlord of this ancient Tower 
Thrice fortunate to see this happy hower 
Whose trembleinge heart thy presence setts on fire 
Unto this house (the heart of all the shire) 
' Does bid thee hearty welcome, and would speak it 

In higher notes, but extreme joy doth breake it. 
Hee makes his Guest most welcome, in whose eyes 
Love-teares do sitt, not he that shouts and cryes. 
And we the gods and guardians of the place, — 
I of this house, he of the fruitfuU chace, — 
[E'er] since the Hoghtons from this hill took name 
Who with the stiffe, unbridled Saxons came 
And soe have flurish't in this fairer clyme. 
Successively from that to this our tyme. 
Still offeringe upp to our Immortall Powers 
Sweet incense, wyne, and odoriferous flowers ; 
While sacred Vesta in her virgin tyre 
With vowes and wishes tend the hallowed fyre. 
Now seeing that thy Majestye we see 
Greater than country gods, more good than wee ; 
We render upp to thy more powerfull guard 
This house ; this Knight is thine, he is thy Ward, 
For by thy helpinge and auspicious hand 
He and his home shall ever, ever stand 
And flurish in despite of envious fate ; 
And then live, like Augustus, fortunate. 
And longe, longe mays't thou live ! to which both men, 
Gods, saints and angells say, ' Amen, amen !' 
[The Second Tutelar God begins :] 
Thou greatest of mortalls ! [He's nonplust. 

I 'rhis poetic address of welcome was probably the " speech" made, as Nicholas Assheton men- 
tions, on the King's arrival at the Tower. 


[The Second [First] God begins againe :] 
Dread Lord ! the splendor and the glorious raye 
Of thy high majestye hath strucken dumbe 
His weaker god-head ; if t' himselfe he come 
Unto thy service straight he will comend 
These Foresters, and charge them to attend 
Thy pleasure in this park, and shew such sport 
To the Chief Huntsman, and thy princely court. 
As the small circuit of this round affords. 
And be more ready than he was in's words. 

On Monday morning, August i8th, 1617, the King and his retinue 
breakfasted at Hoghton, and then set forth, about noon, to Lathom 
House. While at Lathom, James conferred the title of knight upon 
John Talbot, of Salesbury, and other Lancashire gentry who had paid 
their service to him during his progress. Nichols^ prints the bill of fare 
at the royal table during the last day of James's stay at Hoghton Tower 
from a family manuscript, headed : — " Notes of the Diet at Hoghton at 
the King's cominge there" : — ■ , 

Sunday's Dinner, the 17x11 of August (1617). — For the Lords' Table. 

First Course. — Pullets, boiled capon, mutton boiled, boiled chickens, shoulder 
of mutton roast, ducks boiled, loin of veal roast, pullets, haunch of venison roast, 
burred capon, pasty of venison hot, roast turkey, veal burred, swan roast (one, and 
one for to-morrow), chicken pye hot, goose roast, rabbits cold, jiggits of mutton 
boiled, snipe pye, breast of veal boiled, capons roast, pullet, beef roast [Sirloin ?], 
tongue pye cold, sprod boiled, herons roast cold, curlew pye cold, mince pye hot, 
custards, pig roast. 

Second Course. — Hot pheasant, one, and one for the King, quails, six for the 
King, partridge, poults, artichoke pye, curlews roast, peas buttered, rabbits, ducks, 
plovers, red deer pye, pig burred, hot herons roast, three of a dish, lamb roast, gam- 
mon of bacon, pigeons roast, made dish, chicken burred, pear tart, pullets and grease, 
dryed tongues, turkey pye, pheasant tart, hogs' cheeks dryed, turkey chicks cold. 
Sunday Night's Supper. 

First Course. — Pullet, boiled capon, cold mutton, shoulder of mutton roasted, 
chicken boiled, cold capon, roast veal, rabbits boiled, turkey roast, pasty of venison 
hot, shoulder of venison roast, herons cold, sliced beef, umble pye, duck boiled, 
chickens baked, pullet, cold neat's tongue pye, neat's tongue roast, sprod boiled, curlews 
baked cold, turkeys baked cold, neats' feet, boiled rabbits, neats' tongue, rabbits fried. 

Second Course. — Quails, poults, herons, plovers, chickens, pear tart, rabbits, 
peas buttered, made dish, ducks, gammon of bacon, red deer pye, pigeons, wild boat 
pye, curlew, dry neats' tongue, neats' tongue tart, dryed hog's cheek, red deer pye. 
Monday Morning's Breakfast, the i8th of August. 

Pullets, boiled capon, shoulder of mutton, veal roast, boiled chickens, rabbits 
roast, shoulder of mutton roast, chine of beef roast, pasty of venison, turkey roast, 
pig roast, venison roast, ducks boiled, pullet, red deer pye cold, four capons roast, 
poults roast, pheasant, herons, mutton boiled, wild boar pye, jiggits of mutton boiled, 
jiggits of mutton burred, gammon of bacon, chicken pye, burred capon, dryed hog's 
cheek, umble pye, tart, made dish. 

« Progresses of James I., v. iii, pp^ 397-9. 


Labourers [Servants] — For the pastries— John Greene, Richard BIythe, 
William Aldersey, Alexander Cowper. For the ranges — ^John Colebume, Elias James, 
John Rairke, Robert Dance. For boiling — John Murryer, William Parkes. For 
pullets — John Gierke, John Bibby. — Chief Cooks — Mr. Morris ; Mr. Miller. 

Many readers will have heard the local tradition that it was at 
Hoghton Tower that King James, in a fit of humour, knighted a loin of 
beef which was set before him at dinner, by which, as the story goes, 
that particular joint of meat acquired the name of Sirloin. There is no 
evidence except the folk-lore of the district that the eccentric monarch 
actually perpetrated the practical joke of knighting a piece of beef that 
pleased his palate, either at Hoghton or elsewhere ; and a similar story 
being told of a later Stuart king (Charles II.), the two traditions tend to 
invalidate each other. Some writers have suggested, indeed, that the 
original etymology of the word was surloin, from the French sur, signi- 
fying upon ; and the modern French name for the same joint the English 
call sirloin is surlonge. The legend of the knighthood is therefore doubt- 
ful. James the First was notoriously given to punning, and it is not 
unlikely he may have remarked, as he partook of the savoury surloin at 
Hoghton, that its merit was such that its name might appropriately be 
altered from " surloin" to " Sir-Loin." 


Among the chief provocations to that disaffection of the English 
people to the Stuart dynasty, which, gradually increasing and extending 
.during the reign of Charles I., eventuated in the great Civil War, and 
the dethronement and death of that King, was the action of the Crown 
and Council in re-instituting, in a more oppressive form, the ancient levy 
of " Ship-Money." This levy, which in former periods had been made 
upon the coastland counties for the providing of armed ships to defend 
the coasts from the incursions of pirates and sea-marauders, was now 
exacted from the whole country for a purpose totally apart from its 
nominal and ostensible one, namely, to furnish the Crown with means for 
the payment of royal debts, and for government without the assistance 
of a suspended Parliament. In the year 1634-5, when the impost called 
ship-money was thus levied upon Lancashire, the High Sheriff of this 
county, to whom the Orders in Council relating to the levy were 
addressed, was Humphrey Chetham, Esq., of Turton Tower, the noted 
Lancashire merchant, and the enlightened founder of the Chetham 
Hospital and Library in Manchester. The family papers of the 
Chethams' include several interesting documents concerning the levy 
of ship-money in the county. From the^e papers one or two extracts, 

I Foundations of Manchester (Appendix), v. iii, pp. 257-76. 


showing the proportions of the county-levy paid by the different Hun- 
dreds and corporate towns of Lancashire, may be inserted here. First, 
is a letter from the Lords of his Majesty's Council to the High Sheriff, 
dated from Whitehall, August 12th, 1635, which directs the attention of 
the Sheriff to the royal writ commanding the county to provide " one 
Shipp of Three hundred and fifty Tunnes, to be furnished with men, 
tackle, munition, victuall, and other necessaries." It is made known by 
this mandate, that " upon a due and just calculation wee [the Lords in 
Council] find that the charge of a ship of that burthen so manned and 
furnished will be three thousand flive hundred pounds ;" and it is added : 
— " To prevent difficulty in the dividing the Assessments uppon the 
Corporate Townes, wee having informed ourselves the best we may of 
the present condition of the Corporate TowTies, and what proportion of 
that charge each of them is fitt to beare, doe conceive That the Towne 
of Preston may well beare Fifty pounds, Lancaster Thirty pounds, Liver- 
poole Twenty pounds, Wiggan Fifty pounds, Clitheroe flive pounds, 
Newton flive pounds ; and the residue of the said three thousand and 
five hundred pounds is to bee assessed upon the rest of the county." 

In obedience to these orders, the Sheriff proceeded to assess the tax 
upon the Hundreds and Corporate Towns. He issued his warrants to 
the " Maior, Bailiffes, and Comonalties of the Towne of Lancaster, the 
Maior and Bailiffs of the Towne of Liverpoole, the Maior and Burgesses 
of the Towne of Preston in Amounderness, the Maior and Burgesses of 
the Towne of Wiggan, the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Towne of 
Cliderow, and the Steward and Burgesses of the Towne of Newton ;" and 
at a meeting of the foresaid Mayors, Burgesses, and ofliicers of the Towns, 
assembled by the Sheriff, the sum-total of the levy upon the Towns was 
accepted, but "some small alteration made in the dividing thereof" As 
the central town of the county. Sheriff Chetham appointed Preston for 
the place at which the sums required from the Hundreds and Towns 
should be paid over by the local authorities. The tax was paid in Lan- 
cashire with great reluctance, and collected with difficulty. The Sheriff 
reported that on proceeding to Preston, where he had expected that 
money should readily come to his hands, he " met with nothing for the , 
first two days, but complaints and loud exclamations against unjust and 
unequal taxations." The clergy especially complained of the distressing 
pressure of the tax ; and the Sheriff ordered that they should be leniently 
dealt with. Subjoined is a copy of the return sent up to London by 
Sheriff Chetham of the proportions in which the sum of ;£'3,5oo for 
ship-money was paid by the six Hundreds of the County, and the six 
Corporate Towns. The return also shows the amount contributed by 
the clergy in the several districts to the levy : — 


The Hundreds op the Whereof the 

County. Clergie paid 

/ s. d, ;£ s. d. 

West Darbie Hundred, excepting the 
burroughes of Wigan, Liverpoole, 

and Newton in that Hundred - - - 757 10 o - - 23 19 2^ 

Salford Hundred 490 00 - - 12 8 6 

Leyland Hundred -------- 315 o o - - 3 11 o 

Blackburne Hundred, excepting Cliderowe 622 10 o - - o 18 6 

Amounderness Hundred, excepting Preston 625 00-- 184 

Loynsdall Hundred, excepting Lancaster - 530 00-- 786 
The Burroughes. 

Lancaster Towne --- 30 00 - - 200 

Preston in Amondemes 40 00 - - 080 

Wiggan -- 50 00 - - 500 

Liverpoole .-- .-- 25 00 - - Nil. 

Cliderowe 7 10 o - - Nil. 

Newton - - • 7 10 o - - Nil. 

Suma totalis .£'3,500, of which the Clergie paid ^^57 2s. 

These returns afford evidence as to the distribution of wealth in 
Lancashire in the reign of Charles I. Wigan was then the richest town 
in the County, and Preston came next. It is a significant illustration of 
the extreme poverty of the Church endowments in Blackburn Hundred 
at this time, that while the Hundred paid to the levy ^622 los., against 
;^757 los. by the Hundred of West Derby, the clergy of our Hundred 
could only pay a paltry i8s. 6d. to the tax, as against ;^23 19s. contri- 
buted by the relatively well-endowed clergy of West Derby division. 



We have now arrived at that period of stirring events, the great 
Civil War between King Charles and his Parliament. Lancashire bore 
its share in the strife and suffering of that long conflict, and the men of 
Blackburnshire were not behind the rest of their countymen in the 
sturdiness with which they fought out the quarrel, under the leadership 
of the gentry of the district. The record of the war in this work limits 
itself to those military incidents of which Blackburn Parish was the 
theatre, with such passing mention of outside occurrences as seems 
needed to connect and explain local movements. 

Early in the year 1640, King Charles, who had reigned as an 
absolute monarch since 1629, found it indispensable to summon a Parlia- 
ment. The House of Commons returned in April, 1640, was so little 
disposed to second the Crown in its arbitrary policy that it was dissolved 
after an existence of a few weeks. The next Parliament, summoned in 


November of the same year, was longer-lived, and much more remark- 
able. It was the Parliament known in history as the " Long Parliament." 
To it were returned for the borough of Clitheroe, Ralph Assheton, Esq., 
of Whalley, and Richard Shuttleworth, junr., gent., of Gawthorpe ; for 
Preston, Richard Shuttleworth, Esq., of Gawthorpe, and Thomas 
Standish, Esq. Of fourteen members returned to this Parliament from 
the Lancashire boroughs and for the county, eight were for the Parlia- 
ment, and six were Royalists, in the contest that ensued. 

In the month of January, 164 1-2, the rupture between the King 
and the other Estates of the realm being complete, both parties began to 
prepare for the inevitable resort to arms. Charles withdrew from London, 
and by the end of April, 1642, was at York, issuing his summons to the 
trusted loyalist gentry of Yorkshire, Lancashire, and other counties to 
meet him there with their forces. The first step of the Parliamentary 
leaders to make their influence felt in Lancashire was the nomination to 
the King, on February 12th, 1641-2, of Lord Wharton to be Lord 
Lieutenant of the county, in the stead of Lord Strange. The King 
rejected the nomination, and upon that the Parliament, on March 5th, 
absolutely appointed Lord Wharton to the post. The new Lord-Lieu- 
tenant at once nominated a fresh batch of deputy-lieutenants from among 
the gentry favourable to the Parliament. Soon after this, a petition was 
presented to the House of Commons, signed by "divers Knights, 
Esquires, Ministers, Gentlemen and Freeholders " of the County, thank- 
ing the House for the appointment of Lord Wharton to the Lieutenancy ; 
acknowledging with gratitude " the fidelitie, patience, and unparalleled 
industry of this Honorable House in the indevours to restore to order 
the discomposed condition of this Church and State ; and to put the 
same into a way to unitie, puretie and peace ;" and praying, with other 
prayers, " that the number of preaching ministers be augmented in the 
Countie ;" " that a Fleet of small ships may be appointed for the guard 
of this Coast ;" that the Recusants of the County might be disarmed, 
and the County Militia put in a position of defence ; and " that the 
jjetition concerning the breach of privileges at the Election of Knights 
for this county (unparalleled by any Election in this Kingdome as your 
Petitioners beleeve), as also the other grievances of the Countie," &c., 
" may receive examination and redresse."^ Another petition, evidently 
from the same parties (the Puritan interest in Lancashire), was presented 
to the King at York, May 2nd, 1642, beseeching his Majesty to return 
to London, and to his " great Councell," i.e.. Parliament. These Lan- 
cashire Puritans would seem to have had faith in the power of petition- 
ing, for on the 27th of the same month they presented a second petition 

I Civil War Tracts, pp. 2-5. 


to the King at York, " subscribed by 64 Knights and Esquires, 55 
Divines, 740 Gentlemen, and of Freeholders and others above 7000" — 
a formidable array of signatures. The King was besought to carry out 
his understood resolution "of ruling his people according to the 
laws of the land ;" of defending the doctrine, liturgy, and government 
of the Church ; of advancing learning, and encouraging " painfull ortho- 
dox Preachers ;" and to condescend unto whatever Parliament should 
offer to his royal view, conducive to the common good. To this latter 
petition Charles vouchsafed an answer, dated June 6th, 1642, accepting 
the loyal expressions of the petitioners, and assuring them of his zeal 
for the " maintenance of the true Protestant profession," and his acquies- 
cence in their " desire of a good understanding between His Majestie and 
his two Houses of Parliament.'" 

These pacific expressions amounted to little ; they could not close 
up the wide breach between King and Parliament, and they were 
quickly succeeded by hostile dispositions. On the nth of June, 1642, 
Charles issued from York his commission of military array for Lanca- 
shire. William, Earl of Derby, whose name stands first in the Royalist 
Commission of Array, was an aged man at this time ; his death occurred 
m September, 1642. His son and successor, James, Lord Strange, was 
from the first the recognised chief of the King's party in the county. 
His action, the moment he saw the war to be imminent, was bold and 
jarompt. So early as the last week of May, there had been a muster of 
Royalist Catholics in the vicinity of Lancaster, and a few days later. 
Lord Strange, with a following of 700 armed men, appeared at Lancas- 
ter, and pounced upon the Magazine there, from which he appropriated 
the powder and the match. The great county meeting at Preston, con- 
vened by Sir John Girlington, the High Sheriff, on the 20th of June, 
1642, is, however, the first remarkable occurrence in the annals of the 
Civil War in Lancashire. The rendezvous of Royalist partizans at 
Preston, and the proceedings thereat, are recorded in a letter from a 
gentleman in York to a friend in London ; and more in detail in a letter 
from Alexander Rigby to the Speaker of the House of Commons. Both 
these narratives were written by adherents of the Parliament, which will 
explain the terms in which the King's friends and their doings are 
characterised. The gentleman from York writes that Sir John Girling- 
ton, the High Sheriff, on receipt of a letter from the King, proceeded 
"to sum up all protestant subjects with all speed at Preston, to heare his 
Majestie's two declarations and the Lancashire Petition to the King 
and his Majestie's answer thereunto" ; at which meeting " some of the 
Committee for Lancaster desired the forbearance of them to be read, 

I civil War Tracts, pp. 8-12. 


but hee [the Sheriff], in contempt of their order from the Parliament, 
departed with some of his friends, and cryed out, ' All that are for the 
King go with us,' crying 'For the King, for the King !' and so about 
400 persons, whereof the most part of them were Popish Recusants, 
went with him and ridde up and downe the moore, and cryed, ' For the 
King, for the King !' but far more in number stayed with the Committee, 
and prayed for the uniting of the King and Parliament with a generall 
acclamation, so that 'tis thought, since the Committees going there, it hath 
wonderfully wrought upon the hearts of the people."^ A fuller account 
(being by an eye-witness) of the incidents of the Preston demonstration 
is contained in the letter of Mr. Alexander Rigby, who, with Mr. Richard 
Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe, being sent into Lancashire to organise the 
resistance of their friends to Lord Strange and the King's party, was 
present at the assembly on Preston Moor.^ 

This Preston meeting was the first rencontre between the opposing 
parties in Lancashire ; and though the adherents of the King and of 
the Parliament met on this occasion without blows, and parted without 
bloodshed, it is manifest thai the partizan feeling already ran very high, 
and that very little was needed to have brought on a collision. Messrs. 
Rigby and Shuttleworth, as Members of the House of Commons and 
the Commissioners of Parliament, displayed courage in confronting the 
High Sheriff, the Lord Strange, and the other members of the King's _ 
Commission of Array for Lancashire, and in challenging the legality 
of their proceedings. The Royalists, on their part, made their 
preparations for war with decision and celerity, as Rigby's account of 
the removal of gunpowder stored at Preston, and of their collection 
of "great store of horses for service," attests. The Parliament party 
were somewhat less prompt in their measures, but they were by no 
means asleep. The day after the Preston meeting Mr. Rigby and Mr. 
Richard Shuttleworth were summoned to Manchester, to concert 
with their fellow-commissioners plans for the defence of the county 
against Royalist attacks. In Manchester there were at this juncture 
" ten barrels of powder and some few bundles of match lodged in a 
room of a house, belonging to Lord Strange ;" these the local Royalist 
leaders sought to carry away, but were "prevented by Mr. Ash ton, 
who with Mr. Thomas Stanley took it, and removed it into other places 
in the town ;" while Lord Strange, who had seized upon thirty barrels 
of powder and a great quantity of match in the county magazine at 
Liverpool, " did, with many armed Forces, repair to a town called 
Bury," whence his lordship made a demonstration against Manchester, 
demanding the restoration of his powder and match, which was refused. 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 13-14. 2 lb. pp. 325-30. 



At the beginning of the next month (July, 1642), there was a great 
muster at Manchester of the Lancashire MiHtia, called out by the 
Parliamentarian Lieutenancy, when 7000 or 8000 men, " well furnished 
with muskets and pikes, and completely trained by the captains that 
were there," we're reviewed, after which " there was a greate shoute for 
halfe an houre — 'For the King and Parliament — For the King and 
Parliament !' — and at night they were dismist."' 

There is a contemporary story of the interception at Walton-in-le- 
Dale, by Sir Gilbert Hoghton, of a letter written by Mr. Alexander 
Rigby to the Manchester Committee. Mr. Rigb/s messenger was 
" stayed at Walton by a watch which was set by Sir Gilbert Houghton, 
before whom they brought him, and he delivered him Master Rigbie's 
letter, and upon Sunday in the morning Sir Gilbert sent for Mr. Rigby 
[probably to Walton Hall, where Sir Gilbert Hoghton, eldest son of 
Sir Richard, sometime resided], and being come he told him he had a 
commission from the king to break open all such letters ; Master Rigbie 
asked him if he had taken the protestation, and he told him he had. 
Then he demanded his letter from him in the name of all the Commons 
of England : and further told him, if he broke it open, it might be he 
might be the first man that should be made an example in Lancashire ; 
and then he delivered him his letter unbroken up, and intreated him 
■ to stay and dine with him, which he did ; and when they were at dinner 
one Mr. Dawton, a great recusant, and M. Tylsley, came in as familiarly 
to Sir Gilbert as if they had been Haile fellow well met. And M. 
Rigbie told [Sir] Gilbert and M. Tylsley he could like them well, if they 
were not so familiar with Papists."" This incident occurred upon Sunday, 
July 3rd, 1642. On the following day, Mr. Rigby was again at Man- 
chester, present at a meeting of the Manchester Committee of Safety. 

King Charles's anxiety to strengthen his party in Lancashire at 
the beginning of the war, is illustrated by a letter under the Royal 
sign manual, dated from York, July ist, 1642, addressed to William 
Farrington Esq., of Worden, and his son William. These gentlemen 
had been threatened with arrest and removal from the county by the 
Parliament, on account of their activity in executing the King's 
Commission of Array ; and the King, apprehensive that fear of personal 
danger might lead the Farringtons, father and son, to withdraw privately 
from Lancashire, wrote the missive which contains this peremptory 
order : — ^" Wee straightly require you upon your allegiance, that you 
depart not nor absent yourself out of that Our County Palatine of 
Lancaster, neither suffer yourself to be engaged, detained, or kept from 
giving your ready attendance accordingly, beinge thereto called or 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 20. 2 lb. pp. 20-1. 


summoned by Us, or Our Command, whilst we shall continue here, 
upon any pretence, order, warrant, or command whatsoever from either 
or both Houses of Parliament."* Three days later, on July 4th, William 
Farrington, Esq., with the other Royalist Commissioners of Array in 
the county, were required by Sherift's Warrant " forthwith to convene 
and summon all the severall Captaynes of their severall regiments to 
appeare before theme, together with armes, to be viewed, trayned, and 
exercised." What happened during the next two or three days among 
the Royalists mustered at Walton and Preston, is narrated, with a 
Puritan bias, by the writer of the " Perfect Diumall," a Parliamentarian, 
who seems to have been a resident at Preston.^ This unnamed personage 
writes, Wednesday, July 6th, to his friends in London, as follows : — 

As I returned home from Manchester to Preston, in Walton, I overtooke M. 
Kirbie, the Knight of our Shire, and there was in his companie one Chorley of Chorley 
(a seducing Papist, a fit companion for so lukewarm a Protestant), and these were very 
familiar together. A false messenger came this day to Sir Gilbert Houghton, and told 
him that the Lord WhartOn was come to Manchester with 20,000 men, whereupon he 
sent with all speede to all his tenants, and commanded them, that they should be 
readie upon an bower's warning, and set a stronge watch about his house, but I think 
there was no brags in our towne [Preston] for that day. [The false alarm from Manches- 
ter had sobered the Preston Royalists for the nonce.] Then they let honest Protestants 
go through the streets without scoffing at them, and calling them Roundheads, and 
Tylsley posted up and downe in great feare ; it was well if he kept all cleane ; and how 
should it be otherwise, seeing they oppose the King's Majesties Royal authority, in the 
High Court of Parliament, the old and good government of England. 

The next day, July 7th, the same purveyor of intelligence from 
Preston and Walton writes : — " My Lord Strange this night is at Walton, 
with Sir Gilbert Houghton and the High Sheriffe, and Tylsley is there, 
and they have commanded all between 1 5 and 60 to be at Preston to- 
morrow, with the best armes they have. My Lord intends to be there 
himselfe, but what the event will be, I cannot yet tell." What came of 
the mustering of men-at-arms at Preston the following day (Friday, July 
8th, 1642), is also recounted, with gossip of the great personages at 
Walton Hall and their doings ; — 

M. Tylsley yesterday night said unto Luke Hodgkinson in Sir Gilbert's buttery 
that he was told M. Major [the Mayor] of Preston had thought to have him cast in 
Prison, which if he had he would this day have pulled downe the prison, and M. 
Major's house should have been set on fire, if he would not have released him. Truly 
it were well if the Parliament would send for this Tylsley, for he is a Captain, one of 
the Commission of Array, and doth more harm than any man I know. Yesterday 
night when the Lord Strange was at supper he received a packet of letters from York ; 
what they were I cannot tell. This day in the morning I spoke with the Sergeant, 
I Farington Papers, pp. 77-8. 2 C. W. Tracts, pp. 21-j. 


and he hath delivered that order from the House to the Lord Strange, and he first 
told him he would return an answer by word of mouth by him, and afterwards he told 
him he would send an answer himselfe to Parliament. Five men gave one Roger 
Haddock of Chorley very sore strokes and broke his head to the very scull, because 
he went with the Sergeant as a messenger to show him my Lord's house. The 
soldiers are all marched out of the Towne to the number of 4,000, as I thinke, but 
the post is in going, and what this day will bring forth I cannot tell, but they say they 
shout ' For the King, and my Lord Strange, ' and the Sheriffe have set foure barrels of 
beere abroache at the high Cross to make the soldiers drinke as they retumeback. The 
Sergeant is here to arrest the Sheriffe, but it is to no purpose till the company be 
gone. . I shall write you more of this dayes proceeding the next poste. My Lord is 
with them over the Moore. Read this letter be sure to M.W., my brother W. ; pro- 
vide for our safety : we are beset with Papists. I dare not go to the Moore, but 
my . . . was there, and they told him he was a Roundhead, and swore they 
would kill him. So he came from amongst them. I am in haste. Vale. 

A week after the military promenade on Preston Moor, Lord 
Strange was at Manchester, to be present at a banquet at the house of 
one Mr. Greene. This audacious visit to the Puritan head-quarters led 
to a rather serious colHsion between the rival parties. Sir Thomas 
Stanley, and Captains Holcroft and Birch, were exercising the Militia in 
another part of the town, when some of the Militiamen got to blows 
with the body-guard of Lord Strange. Several mortal wounds were 
received in the affray on both sides, and Lord Strange and his men 
hastily retreated out of the town to Sir Alexander Radcliffe's house at 
Ordsall.' This was the first bloodshed of the war, and the tidings of the 
conflict were received throughout the country with trouble and dismay. 

Nothing further of moment transpired in the county until the last 
week in September, when Lord Strange returned to the neighbourhood 
of Manchester with a formidable force, avowedly to reduce the place in the 
King's interest. The Manchester Puritans had made the best use of the 
interval since Lord Strange's former visit in throwing up mud walls and 
other rude fortifications at the main entrances to the town ; and were 
thus enabled to present a firm front to the Royalist array on their 
appearance to besiege the town. It was on Saturday night, September 
24th, 1642, that Lord Strange sat down before Manchester, with a force 
of from 2,000 to 3,000 men. On the 26th, the defenders of Manches- 
ter wrote to Richard Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe and John Starkie of 
Huntroyd, as the leaders of the Parliamentarian interest in Blackburn 
Hundred, asking for ammunition. 

Lord Strange's assault upon Manchester was successfully repelled, 
and his lordship raised the siege after a week's duration, having lost 
about 200 of his men in an attempt' to storm the town." Among the 
Royalist officers in the besieging force were two gentlemen from 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 30-34. 2 Palmer's Siege of Manch,, pp. 26-36. 


Blackburn Hundred — Master Towneley of Towneley, and Master 
Nowell of Read. While Lord Strange lay at Manchester his father, 
the Earl of Derby, died, September 25th, 1642, and Lord Strange 
succeeded to the earldom. He is therefore spoken of henceforth as 
the Earl of Derby. The march of the King's party to Manchester, 
though it led to no serious result, aroused the friends of the Parliament 
to greater activity than had hitherto been exhibited ; and very speedily 
thereafter, as a Puritan chronicler relates, "wear raised up and put 
into armes severall Companies under Captaines of the best ranke and 
qualitie in all the Townes and County, as Captaine Birch, Captaine 
Bradshawe, Captaine Venables, Captaine Ratcliffe, with others ; 
Commissioners being granted by the Parliament to put the County into 
a posture of War for its owne defence. And Collonels allso apointed 
for every Hundred in the County. As Colonell Ashton of Middleton, 
Colonell Holland of Heaton, for Salford Hundred ; Colonell Shuttle- 
worth, elder, Colonell Starkie, for Blackbume Hundred ; Colonell Alex- 
ander Rigbie for Leyland and Amoundernesse Hundreds ; Colonell More 
and Colonell Egerton for Derby, and Colonell Dodding for Lones- 

A proclamation ordered to be published by the House of Commons 
on September 29th, 1642, announces the resolution of Parliament to 
raise 1000 dragoons, to be sent down to Lancashire " for the suppressing 
of the Malignant Party" in the county, and that Colonel Sir John Seaton, 
an experienced Scottish soldier, was selected for this command.'' By the 
middle of October, the men required for this service had been enlisted, 
aud Sir John Seaton with his "1000 Dragooners" was marching to Man- 
chester. On the other side, the Earl of Derby, on retreating from before 
Manchester, marched to join the King's army in Warwickshire. 

At this time. Colonel Richard Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe, a member 
of the House of Commons, and a staunch supporter of the Parliament 
interest, was taking measures to render the Hundred of Blackburn im- 
pervious to Royalist attacks, and his neighbours John Starkie of 
Huntroyd and John Braddyll of Portfield energetically seconded his 
efforts. Mr. Alexander Rigby, the Parliamentarian leader in Amoun- 
derness, was in London in the beginning of October, 1642, and seems 
to have expressed some doubt as to the fulness of the intelligence of 
Royalist movements in Lancashire sent up to town by his friend Colonel 
Shuttleworth. The latter, in a letter dated Oct. 7th, 1642, remonstrates 
with Colonel Rigby upon these unmerited suspicions, and vindicates his 
conduct with dignity and spirit, reminding Rigby that he had something 
at stake as well as his friend, having " a little estate in two Hundreds 

I Discourse of Warr in Lane, pp. 9-10. 2 C. W. Tracts, pp. 40-1. 


of the County," namely, Gawthorpe Hall in Blackburn and Barton 
Lodge in Amoundemess, and asking if it was likely he would wish to 
have them pillaged. Colonel Shuttleworth continues that he had not 
yet asked for armed assistance from beyond the limits of the county 
because he " never knew or heard of any force sent into any county 
before any actuall violence broke out there." But he had done his 
utmost to procure ammunition, and competent commanders to direct 
the local resistance.' The truth was, albeit, that up to this time the 
gentry of this part of Lancashire had been cherishing the vain hope 
of being able to avert the miseries of war from their homes and 
estates by a friendly understanding between the adherents of the two 
parties. A correspondence was opened between Roger Nowell, of 
Read, a Royalist, and Colonel Shuttleworth, on a proposal of Mr. 
Nowell to invite a meeting of the neighbouring gentry of the opposite 
interests, to attempt some arrangement for escaping the obligation of 
fighting against each other. The project was that half a dozen 
gentlemen of either party should meet at some appointed place, their 
safe conduct being guaranteed, to negociate a sort of treaty of neutrality 
in the war. It was about the 8th of October that the correspondence 
commenced; and, on the nth, the subjoined letter was despatched to 
Roger Nowell, from Richard Shuttleworth and others, enclosing the 
response of the Manchester leaders. Colonels Holland and Egerton, 
to the invitation to attend a proposed peace meeting at Blackburn, on 
Thursday, the 13th of October: — 

Cozen, — Wee according to your and our last conclusion, at our parting withoute 
delaie sent unto Mr. Holland and some others within Salford Hundred, for the meet- 
ing at Blackbume on Thursdaie next, from whom (even nowe) wee received this 
enclosed answeare, which wee thought fit to send unto you to consider of ; which when 
you have done, and that you then resolve to meete at Boulton ether Mondaie or Tues- 
daie next (whether dale is left to your election) wee desire you to signifie unto us what 
you conclude hereabouts, that we may speedilie (if occasion bee) acquaint Salford men 
thereof and prepare ourselves to perfect (what is in our power) the intended, and wee 
shall not cease to continue, Your verie lov: cozens, Ric. Shuttleworth, John 
Braddyll, John Starkie. — In hast from Padihame this nth of October, 1642. — 
To our verie lo: cozen, Roger Nowell, Esq., this. — Hast.' 

The Manchester Parliamentarian Colonels, Richard Holland and 
Peter Egerton, were unwilling to go out of their own Hundred to a 
meeting, and it was at their suggestion that Bolton was substituted for 
Blackburn as the proposed place of meeting. Receiving the above 
letter, Roger Nowell wrote from Read, Oct. 12 th, to William Farrington, 
Esq., inclosing the Padiham and Manchester missives, and proposing 
Tuesday, October i8th, as the date of meeting. But he added that he 

I Lane. Lieut., v. ii, pp. 274-7. 2 Farington Papers^ p. 81- 


could not himself be present at it, for he was ordered to set forward on 
Friday, October 14th, to join Lord Derby's command ; so desired 
William Farrington to name two other deputies from the Royalist side 
instead of himself and his cousin Byron ; and he would speak to Mr. 
Saville Radcliife to be there. On receipt, Mr. Farrington, with Messrs. 
Rigby, of Burgh, and Fleetwood, of Penwortham, wrote to Sir Thomas 
Barton, Knt., of Smithells, and Robert Holte, of Castleton, apprising 
them of the proposed peace conference at Bolton, and informing them 
that the six gentlemen appointed to represent the Parliament interest 
were, Richard Holland, Peter Egerton, John Bradshaw, Esqrs. (from Sal- 
ford Hundred), and Richard Shuttleworth, John Braddyll, and John 
Starkie, Esqrs. (from Blackburn Hundred); while on the Royalist part, 
the subscribers to the letter, Farrington, Rigby of Burgh, and John Fleet- 
wood were named, with Saville Radcliffe, Esq., and it was desired that 
Sir Thomas Barton and Robert Holt, Esq., should consent to make up 
the six representatives of that interest. The same parties wrote from 
Chorley the same night to Colonel Shuttleworth, concerning the arrange- 
ments for the meeting, and suggesting that the hour of meeting should 
be ten o'clock in the forenoon. But these overtures ended abortively. 
The Houses of Parliament, having received intelligence of attempts to 
preserve neutrality and to circumscribe the operations of the war, in 
Lancashire, Yorkshire, Devon, and Cornwall, severely discountenanced 
the projects ; and the correspondence is brought to an abrupt close by 
a letter from Colonel Holland, at Manchester, to Messrs. Shuttleworth 
and Starkie, dated Oct. isth, informing them that since their former 
communication they had received in Manchester " commands both by 
letter and declarations set fforth from Parliament, how much it is against 
lyking to have any treaty," and on this ground declining to be parties 
to the conference. Having this notification, Messrs. Shuttleworth and 
Starkie wrote from Padiham, Oct. i6th, to Messrs. Farrington, Rigby, and 
Fleetwood, inclosing Mr. Holland's lette^ and saying that the meeting 
at Bolton " could not hold.'" Thus the friendly negotiation terminated, 
and the parties to it met thereafter only as foes upon the battle-field. 

After this, no further effort was made by the Parliamentarian and 
Royalist gentry to avoid participation in the struggle that had now fairly 
begun. Hostile ventures were now concerted by the Lancashire 
adherents of King and of Parliament. It was the middle of October 
when the proposal for a peace meeting broke down, and within a couple 
of days of that date detachments of armed men in Blackburn Hundred 
were pushing on to the attack of houses of gentry committed to the 
King's interest. Charles Townley, Esq., of Townley Hall, was one of 

1 Farington Papers, pp. 81-6. 


the most influential of Charles the First's friends in these parts ; and he 
was the first to encounter the hostility of the Parliamentarians of his dis- 
trict. A few days before, he and other Roman Catholic gentlemen of 
Lancashire had supplicated the King to relax the law affecting religious 
Recusants, which forbade them to keep arms in their houses, asking that 
the arms previously taken from them might be " redelivered in this tyme 
of actuall War," and that by his Majesty's special direction they might 
be enabled to furnish themselves with " a competencie of weapons" for 
the security of the King's person, their country and families. To this 
application the King returned a favourable answer. By an order of the 
Court at Chester, Sept. 27th, 1642, these loyal " Recusants" were bidden 
to provide sufficient arms for themselves, their servants, and their tenants, 
to be used in defence of their own persons and property, and of the 
royal interests.' The permission was not granted too soon, for almost 
the first act of the enemy in the Hundred of Blackburn was to make a 
raid upon the Townley estate, for the capture of Townley Hall. In the 
beginning of October, the Parliament's Committee at Manchester, 
" to keep their soldiers in exercise," sent some of their Captains " upon 
designs advantagious unto them /' as, for instance, " Captaine Birch was 
sent into Blackburne Hundred, to take in Townley Hall ; and others 
were sent to fetch prizes from malignant cavaliers."^ 

At the outset of the Civil War the Royalist party were so much the 
stronger in the four westerly Hundreds of West Derby, Leyland, 
Amoundemess, and Lonsdale, as to exercise complete sway, and to hold 
with their garrisons every strong castle, embattled mansion, and fortified 
town within those Hundreds. The Royalist leaders, with Lord Derby at 
their head, included Sir John Girlington, Knt.; Sir Gilbert Hoghton, 
Bart.; Sir Alexander Radcliffe, Knt; Thos. Tyldesley and Wm. Farring- 
ton, Esqrs.; and other powerful gentlemen. The two Hundreds of 
Blackburn and Salford remained as the strongholds of the Parliamentarian 
interest. Manchester was their most defensible place, and their political 
and military head-quarters. Bolton likewise was held for the Parliament, 
and partially fortified. In Blackburn Hundred, the only place of arti- 
ficial strength in possession of the Roundheads was Clitheroe Castle. 
The town of Blackburn, though very much exposed to the enemy, had 
no fortifications worthy of the name. Burnley, Colne, and Hasling- 
den, the other market towns, were better protected by the badness of 
the roads that led into the interior of the Hundred than by any temporary 
rampart of mud that may have been hastily thrown up to strengthen 
them. Though the friends of the Parliament in the district outnumbered 
the partizans of the King, there were several local Royalists of note, 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 33-40. 2 Discourse of Warr, p. 10. 



Some families were as good as neutral in the war : such was Richard 
Sherburne of Stonyhurst, a poor ally, though he must be classed on the 
King's side. The Southworths of Samlesbury make no appearance in 
the field. Thomas Southworth, Esq., was just defunct (1641) with- 
out heirs, and there was, therefore, no male scion to risk the estate by 
committing himself to either of the contending parties. 

It was chiefly the Roman Catholic families of the Hundred, — 
Towneley of To^vneley, Sherburne of Stonyhurst, Talbot of Salesbury, 
and Walmesleys of Dunkenhalgh and of Banister Hall, — that rallied to 
King Charles's standard. Roger Nowell of Read was the only Protes- 
tant churchman of any influence who sided with the King. The local 
feeling being decisively for the Parliament, all that the Royalist gentry 
could do was to get together as many as they might of their personal 
dependants, and, leaving their properties to the mercy of the enemy, 
march to join the Royalists at Preston and elsewhere, in the hope that 
the tide of war would soon bear them back to their forsaken estates. 
Sir John Talbot tarried a while in his strong house at Salesbury, profes- 
sing neutrality, until, his treachery being discovered, he had to decamp. 
Richard Walmesley had his house at Dunkenhalgh occupied and ran- 
sacked by the Roundheads very early in the first campaign. RadclifFe 
Assheton of Cuerdale became an active agent of the Royalist party in the 

While the Parliamentarian Committee were collecting their forces 
and disposing them for the defence of Blackburn and Salford Hundreds, 
the Royalists were straining every nerve to be ready for the onset in 
West Lancashire. That the Royalists about Preston were at this time 
equally fearful lest the Roundheads of Blackburn and Salford Hundreds 
should swoop down upon them unawares and discomfit them, as the 
Parliamentarian conclave at Padiham were lest the Royalists from 
Preston should attack them while unprepared, is evident from the 
Sheriffs letter to Wm. Farrington and others, dated the 23rd November, 
in which allusion is made to the source of anticipated mischief to the 
Royal cause : — " Fforasmuch as the rebellious Route under the conduct 
of Richard Shuttleworth, Esq., and others within this County palatine 
of Lancaster, doe daylie swell and increase in a greater rebellious body, 
which committ severall outrages and notorious wicked acts and offences, 
ffbr speedie redresse and suppression whereof I am required to raise 
and have in readiness the power of the County." The Sheriff therefore 
ordered all the Royalist gentry of Leyland district and their tenants to 
be in readiness to take the field " upon fewer and twenty howres further 
notice and warninge, on paine and forfeiture of their lives and estates."^ 

I Farington Papers, pp. 89-9«. 




■ In obedience to these directions, Sir Gilbert Hoghton, Bart., of 
Walton Hall, had, in conjunction with Wm. Farrington, Esq., of Worden, 
been employed during the months of October and November in getting 
their levies in fighting order for the King. Sir Gilbert's position at 
Hoghton or Walton was a standing menace to the town of Blackburn. 
The inhabitants of that town appear to have been from the beginning 
ardent Parliamentarians, as were several of the neighbouring gentry. 
But the place was small ; dominated on every hand by the hills sur- 
rounding it ; and destitute of any kind of defences. It seemed to offer 
an easy prey to an enterprising enemy. When, some time before, the 
Roman Catholics in the Hundred had been disarmed by order of Par- 
liament, the arms secured had been deposited at Whalley. Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton determined to seize those arms, and to carry them to Black- 
burn, making the latter town a Royalist advanced post. The first incur- 
sion of Sir Gilbert into Blackburn Parish was with this object. It was 
made towards the end of November ; the author of the Discourse of 
the Warr fixes it about the middle of October, but it could not have 
been so soon as that, for Messrs. Shuttleworth and Starkie had no men 
in arms at that date, and could not have attacked Sir Gilbert Hoghton 
as they did. Other narratives give the 27th of November as the 
date of the first collision in the neighbourhood of Blackburn. An 
undated letter from the Bailiff of Clitheroe' and others to Richard 
Shuttleworth indicates the belief at Clitheroe to have been, on Sir 
Gilbert Hoghton's appearance in the Ribble valley, that he meant to 
capture Clitheroe Castle, the fact being that he had no such present 
design, the deposit of arms at Whalley being the real object of his raid. 

The stroke fell upon the Blackburn Roundheads at last, and was 
replied to by an effectual counter-stroke. Sir Gilbert advanced at the 
head of his troopers to Whalley, and seized the arms there ; then retired 
upon Blackburn, which he had simultaneously occupied by a body 
of foot. The affair and its ending a Puritan chronicler records as 
follows : — 

The Armes within Blackburn Hundred being laid up at Whalley, Sir Gilbert 
Houghton, one of the Deputy Lieutenants for the Earle of Darbie afforesaid, no 
doubt but by and with the counsell and direction of the Earle and to make their Partie 
stronge, called up the Trained Band of Amounderness Hundred, and marched to 
Whalley to fetch the said Armes from thence, and the 16 or 17 of October, 1642, 
carried them to Blackburne and quartered there that night. And that same day ould 
Colonell Shuttleworth (having received intelligence of his designe) had a Randavous 
of the Clubmen of Blackburne Hundred upon Houley [Healey, near Burnley ?] 
More, wher they held a consultation what course to take about those Armes, the 
general vote being not to let them goe out of their Hundred, but eyther Reskowe 
I Lane, Lieut, v. ii, pp. 3o5-6. 



them or adventure themselves to the hazard. Soe that at night, hearing that Sir 
Gilbert with his Companie and the Armes had taken up their quarters at Blackburne, 
they silently fell down upon Blackburne beating up their quarters, tooke many of Sir 
Gilbert's soldiers prisoners, [and] seased upon the Armes. Sir Gilbert himselfe fled 
out of the Towne, and the prisoners that were taken being brought before Colonell 
Shuttleworth he released them, counselling them to be honest men and keep at home.'- 

Other accounts, which may be compared with the above, of this 
victory of the East Lancashire Roundheads over Sir Gilbert Hoghton's 
array, are found in two curious Puritan records of the period. One, 
the quaint, pietistic anonymous tract entitled Lancashire's Valley of Achor 
is England' s Doore of Hope, ^\io\\^&A in London in 1643; the other, 
a shorter tract, printed in London, Dec. 9th, 1642, purporting to be 
A True and full Relation of the Troubles in Lancashire in the form of a 
letter from one Thomas Jesland, of Atherton, a Lancashire Puritan, to 
a " Reverend Divine in London." An engagement between Colonel 
Shuttleworth's force and that of Sir Gilbert Hoghton is stated in one of 
these accounts to have been fought on " Hinfield Moor," which I take 
to mean Enfield Moor, a low hill to the north of Accrington, about mid- 
way between Blackburn and Burnley, — a central eminence commanding 
the valleys of the Calder and Hindbum. The other, and probably the 
accurate version, agreeing as it does with that above quoted, is that 
" Hinfield Moor" was but the place of the Parliamentarian rendezvous 
and consultation, and Blackburn, the town occupied by the Royalist 
leader, the scene of the conflict and defeat of Sir Gilbert's troops. The 
passage from Lancashire' s Valley of Achor is given below : — 

Blackburne Hundred. — When God had thus gloriously appeared in Salford 
Hundred, the first and fonvardest Hundred, He went and displayed His banner in 
Blackburne Hundred, that only other Hundred in this Countie that appeared in the 
same cause. About November the seven and twentieth, the [Royalist] Array, with 
some three hundred armed men (as is conceived) besides Clubmen, possessed them- 
selves of Blackburne, whence they sent a party to disarme Whalley. This alarm 
awaked the Militia to awake the people by precept. They being awaked, were soone 
up and marched towards Blackburne about two hundred armed men, some companies 
of Clubmen, and some Horsemen, but without arms. The want of skill in souldiers, 
and skilful! captains to supply that want, caused a consultation on Hinfield-Moore, 
which received Determination (not from the Discoverie of hidden skill but from the 
resolute will of these stirring .Souldiers) to dispossesse those forcible Tenants. They 
speed on with shouting, dividing themselves unto the conduct of two chosen captains, 
and come within sight of the Town [of Blackburn] about eight of the clock, when the 
Queen of the night, that had shined upon their March, did discover them to their 
enemies, who soon let flie from the Steeple [of the Parish Church] ; which ordered 
one Captain and his companie to the South side of the Town, and the other Captain 
with his companie to the East end of the Town, where they found (though not so high, 
yet) as hot entertainment out of the Town for the space of two houres. But God that 
I Discourse of Warr, pp. 11-12. 


varieth His providence according to His people's occasions, and had maintained the 
passages of Manchester (that a rightful people should not be wronged), did now open 
a difficult passage to let in his friends, from whom the Array [Royalists] hasted, having 
disburdened themselves of their arms, and restored what they took from Whalley. 
Now had God added an experience of favourable providence, in a new kinde, 
formerly in a way of defence, now in a way of offence, declaring His all-sufficiencie 
and compleatnesse for Warre, to those two united Hundreds, giving a Shield to 
Manchester and a Sword to Blackbume.i 

The narrative of Thomas Jesland, written four or five days after the 
event, and from hearsay probably, is less correct in particulars. He 
magnifies the Roundhead force to 8,000 men (a highly improbable 
number), and places the action between the hostile forces at " Hinfield 
Moor" instead of at Blackburn. Having described the simultaneous 
defeat of the Earl of Derby at Chowbent, in which he was an actor, 
Thomas Jesland writes : — 

Now the men of Blackburn, Paduam, Bumeley, Clitheroe, and Colne, with those 
sturdy churles in the two forests of Pendle and Rossendale, have raised their spirits, 
and have resolved to fight it out rather than their Beefe and fatt Bacon shall be taken 
from them. For the last Weeke Sir Gilbert Houghton set his Beacon on fire, which 
stood upon the top of Houghton Tower and was the signal to the countrey for the 
Papists and Malignants to arise in the Field [Fylde], and in Lealand Hundred ; where- 
upon great multitudes accordingly resorted to him to Preston in Andemesse, and ran 
to Blackbume, and so through the countrey, disarming jll and pillaging some ; which 
Master Shuttleworth, a Parliament man, and Master Starkie hearing off, presently had 
gotten together out of the places formerly mentioned about 8,000 men, met with Sir 
Gilbert and his Catholique Malignants at Hinfield Moor, put them to flight, tdbke 
away many of their armes, and pursued Sir Gilbert so hotly, that he quit his Horse, 
leaped into a field, and by the comming on of the night escaped through fur [furzei 
bushes and by-wayes to Preston, and there makes great defence by chaining up the 
Ribble Bridge and getting what force he can into the Towne for its securitie, out of 
which the countrie swears they will have him, by God's help, with all his adherents 
either quicke or dead ; so that by the next post I hope I shall certifie of some good 
posture that the countrey will be in. O that Parliament had but sent downe their 
1,000 Dragoniers into the countrey — wee would not have left a Masse-monger nor 
Malignant of note but we would have provided a lodging for him." 

The motive-cause of the popular rising in these districts, to repel 
the Royalist invasion, as assigned by this narrator, was not perhaps of 
the most exalted kind. It was not so much that the peasantry of these 
parts hated the absolutist proceedings of the monarch, or fell in with the 
puritanic ideas of religion and morals favoured by the King's adver- 
saries ; — it was simply to save " their Beefe and fatt Bacon" from the 
clutches of an enemy credited, and not without reason, with the inten- 
tion to appropriate them to his own use. But unromantic as the fact 
may be, the phase the spirit of patriotism assumes in the minds of the 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 123-4. 2 lb. pp. 65-6. 


majority of any race, in any age or country, is that of a sense of the 
necessity to rise in arms in defence of home and family, crops and 
property. The " sturdy churles" of Pendle and Rossendale Forests, in 
mustering for the defence of their herds of cattle and swine, obeyed that 
instinct of self-preservation which possesses all mankind, and is the most 
powerful actuating motive of human conduct. These mountain boors 
and forest churls of Blackburnshire were possibly not more selfish in the 
impulses that moved them to fight than were the more distinguished 
actors in the Civil War, from the King downward. 

The chief supporters of the Parliament in Blackburn Hundred, the 
families of Shuttleworth, Starkie, Braddyll, and Assheton, manifested 
their devotion to the cause, not only by the active services of the heads 
of those families, rendered during the course of the conflict both in the 
field and in council, but likewise in the acceptance of military duty by 
the sons of each of these leading Parliamentarians. Old Colonel 
Shuttleworth sent no fewer than four of his sons to fight against kingly 
usurpation. The eldest of these was Richard Shuttleworth, Esq., M.P. 
for Clitheroe, who was a colonel in the Roundhead army, and, after a 
successful service, died before the contest was quite concluded, in 1648. 
Two other sons of the Gawthorpe veteran, Nicholas and Ughtred, 
entered the army as captains, and became colonels both ; while William 
Shuttleworth, the fourth son, was made a captain at the outset of the 
war, and was slain at Lancaster early in the first campaign. Sir Ralph 
Assheton, Bart., who died in 1644, gave an energetic soldier to the 
conflict in the person of his son and successor, Ralph Assheton, Esq., 
M.P. for Clitheroe. John Starkie, Esq., of Huntroyd, also lent his 
heir, Nicholas Starkie, to the service of Parliament, and knew a father's 
grief on the death of his son, by a disastrous accident, within a few 
weeks of his commission to a captaincy. John Braddyll, Esq., of 
Portfield, experienced a like bereavement in the loss in battle of his 
son, Captain John Braddyll, who was mortally hurt at Thornton in 
Craven, in July, 1643. There is a record of the appointment of these 
gallant sons of gallant sires to commissions, in the following passage 
from the Discourse of the Warr : — " After that the Armes were 
recovered from Sir Gilbert Hoghton, Colonel Shuttleworth and Colonel 
Starkie were very diligent and industrious to put their Hundred of 
Blackburn in a position of warr, and therefore gave commissions to 
several Captaines to raise Companies. Four of Colonel Shuttleworth's 
sons were made Captaines, viz., Nicholas, William, Edward [?], and Hute 
[Ughtred]. Colonell Starkie's sonne and heyre, and Mr. Bradell's sonne 
and heyre, they were the first Captaines in the Parliament service in 
that Hundred, and they raised companies which proved stout men, and 


were of good repute for hardness and manhood everywhere they 

This was done about the beginning of December, 1642 ; and on 
the loth of the same month another Royahst conclave took place at 
Preston. The meeting was convened by James Earl of Derby, " Lord 
General of the County," and Sir John Girlington, Knt., High Sheriff. 
It was there resolved " that the soome of 8000 and 700 pounds shall 
be ratably assessed upon the several Hundreds of the County;" and the 
money thus obtained was to be " employed for the pay of 2000 foot and 
400 horse, and also for provision of a Magazine and ammunition for the 
said County."'^ Collectors of the Subsidy were appointed for the several 
Hundreds, in which capacity were nominated for Blackburn Hundred, 
Sir John Talbot, Knight, of Salesbury, and Radcliffe Assheton, Esq., of 

On Christmas Eve> (December 24th), 1642, the town of Blackburn 
was subjected to another hostile demonstration by the Royalists of Sir 
Gilbert Hoghton. Since the first encounter there, four weeks before, 
the few hundreds of Parliamentarian Militia left as a garrison in Black- 
bum had made an effort to strengthen their position by casting up some 
fortifications about the town— nothing more, probably, than rough earth- 
works to guard the four entrances to the town ; at the top of Northgate, 
on the Ribchester road ; beyond Astley-gate, perhaps at the bridge near 
Whalley Banks, on the road to Preston ; about Darwen-street bridge, on 
the road to Darwen ; and somewhere between Salford Bridge and 
Bottomgate, to protect the entrance from Burnley side, which, however, 
was in little danger from Royalist partisans. It was from the Revidge 
side that Blackburn was threatened on that Christmas Eve. Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton and his men got up to the vicinity of the town by the old lane 
from Mellor and Samlesbury. Two interesting narrations of this so- 
called Siege of Blackburn, which was really a very desultory and abortive 
affair, remain. The first is that of the well-informed author of the 
Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, who writes somewhat circumstan- 
tially. It is well to record the history of these times, as far as possible, 
in the words of the chroniclers of the period, considering that the lan- 
guage of these useful contemporary documents conveys a more vivid 
picture of events than any modernised version of the facts could do. 
The authority mentioned narrates the incidents of this attack on Black- 
bum in the following passage : — 

The Hundred of Blackbume being put into a Warlike posture, many Companies 
of Resolut Souldiers being raised within it. The Colonells Oulde Shuttleworth and 
Starkie, having a speciall eye to Blackbume towne, being soe neare unto Preston, as 
I Disc, of Warr, p. 15. 2 C. W. Tracts, p. 67. 



alsoe fearing inroads into the Hundred by the enimie besydes Plundering, laid some 
Companies of Souldiers in it and caused some fortifications to be maid about it, in 
some measure to secure it, and so till about Christmas 1642 it continued in a reasonable 
quiet condition. But Blackbume lying within three miles of Hoghton Tower, the 
principal house of Sir Gilbert Hoghton, a Deputie Lieutenant for the Earle of Darbie 
and a Commissioner of Aray, He tooke it into consideration how unsafe it was for him 
in respect of his person and estait about Hoghton, but especiallie how dishonourable it 
might prove to his reputation with the King, if he suffered a Garrison of the Enimie 
soe neare unto his howse and used no means to dissipate it, was moved about the latter 
end of December 1642 to thinke upon the reducing that Garrison to the King's part. 
And thereuppon resolved to set upon it, having the assistance of most of the Popish 
affected Gentlemen in Amoundemess Hundred, with there Tenants in Armes, the 
Trained Bands, and the Clubmen of the Field [Fylde] and other parts. He marched 
forward from Preston the twenty fourth daye of December, being Christmas time, up 
the way to Mellor loan head, soe upon the North syd of Blackbume ; set downe most 
of his forces about and neare the house of . . a husbandman by a bye-name called 
Duke of the Banke, and having a small piece of Ordnance plaid most of that night 
and the day following against the Towne, the greatest execution that it did, as was 
hard of, a bullet shot out of it entered into a house upon the South side of the Church 
Yard and burst out the bottom of a fryen pan. There was noe nearer assault to the 
Towne than a quarter of a Mile. They wear afraid of comming near one another. 
The Souldiers within the Towne went out of it and dischardged there muskets towards 
them at randome, for any thing was knowne there was not a man sleyne or hurt. Upon 
Christmas Day at night Sir Gilbert withdrew his forces being weary of his Siege, and 
his Soldiers and Clubmen were glad of it that they might eate their Christmas pyes at 
home. But they did the good man about whose house they lay much harme not only 
in eating his provision of Meale and Beefe and the like, as also in buminge his barne 
doors with his Carts, wheels, and other husbandry stuff. This was all the expedition 
of Sir Gilbert Hoghton against Blackbume. ^ 

According to this account, the point at which the Royalist troops 
were posted in this approach to Blackburn was the high bank just above 
the junction of the modem Branch Road with Preston New Road. It 
was close by the house of a farmer nicknamed "Duke of the Banke." 
Bank-house, at Higher Bank, an old gabled house, and the only tene- 
ment of any antiquity among the many villas that now cover the Bank, 
was probably the place plundered and ransacked by Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton's militia. The by-name of " Duke " borne by the occupant 
suggests the name Duke's Brow, given to the old road leading up 
to Higher Bank, and prolonged on the top of the hill in the disused 
lane that in those days was the only road to Mellor. The other account 
of this Royalist reconnaissance is in the tract, Lancashire's Valley of 
Achor. The extract is subjoined : — 

The like Christmas kept our forces at Blackburn ; the Militia having in the Town 
four hundred armed men, and some clubmen, the array came against the Towne on 
Christmas Eve with five thousand, and three field pieces ; very early in the morning, 
I Discourse of Warr, pp. 21-2. 


they shot off their pieces, with shouting, saying, "Take heed, you Roundheads." 
God took heed for us, for we were not afraid of the noise, nor hurt once by the eight- 
pound Bullet, though directed against us eight and twenty times. We called on them 
(in vain) to come within musquet shot. About twelve a Clock they called a Parley ; 
the pretence was if we would yielde the Towne and the Arms, and submit to tbe 
Earl of Darby, they would mediate with him to supplicate the King to grant a 
pardon. The intent was to carry their god (the greatest Field Piece), nearer the 
Towne, he was too farre off to doe any harme. We (Scot-like) knew not the meaning 
of a Pardon, professing ourselves to be for King and Parliament. When we would no 
Pardon, they laboured to punish us, having set np their idoU nearer, by the counsell 
(as they report) of four or five Priests and Jesuits, and other great Papists whom they 
had at hand in a tythe Bam ; Till sun-setting both sides plaid fiercely, but then 
taking advantage of the darkness, they fled in fear, and overrun their great pieces, 
trusting more to the night for protection than to their own courage or strength. ' 

Thus beleaguered and bombarded, after a desultory fashion, the 
to\vnsfolk of Blackburn kept their Christmas in 1642, for the attack, 
according to both accounts, took place on Christmas Day, Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton having appeared before the town on Christmas Eve, and 
planted his men and ordnance on the rising ground to the north-west 
of the town, ready for the morrow's attack. At the period of the Civil 
War, Blackburn was but a small to^vn, though it had then a weekly 
market of some importance. Its population could not have been more 
than two or three thousand souls. Its four or five hundred tenements 
were clustered about the north, north-east, west, and south-west precincts 
of the Parish Church, along the streets called Church-street, Salford, 
Darwen-street, Astley-gate, and Northgate. No published map of Black- 
bum older than the century is known, and any description of its street- 
plan two centuries back must be largely conjectural, and based upon 
knowledge of the ground on which the old tenements stood, most of 
which have been demolished. In 1660 a great proportion of the houses 
in the town were detached, standing in the midst of their own garden 
plots. The six or seven hundred Roundhead soldiers garrisoning the 
town when Sir Gilbert Hoghton came against it at Christmas, 1642, 
would appropriate all the lodging accommodation of the town, and be 
quartered in nearly every house. 

It may be mentioned, as illustrative of the dislocating effects of the 
political agitations which disturbed men's minds during the continuance 
of this unhappy conflict, that the Blackburn Parish Registers exhibit a 
gap for the twelve years between the latter part of 1637 and the begin- 
ning of 1650. During that terrible interval, the people thought only of 
war and its dread issues : parochial clergy and their clerks absconded or 
forgot their functions ; children were bom and people died and were 

I C. W, Tracts, p. 126. 


buried without a record ; and the whole social economy underwent utter 

No fresh descent was made upon Blackburn by the Royalists after 
this repulse for three months, when the Earl of Derby came with his 
troops and temporarily occupied the town. But throughout the winter 
the people and garrison were excited by frequent alarms. An authority 
.says : — " There was this winter also divers Allarums given to Blackburn 
by the King's partie, but with no effecte."^ Episodes of conflict occur- 
red, however, in the parish. At Salesbury Hall, within six miles of the 
town, Sir John Talbot hatched a plot in the Royalist interest which 
ended in his own discomfiture. Affecting neutrality, the Salesbury 
Knight invited a party of leading Parliament men to his house, with the 
design of treacherously making them his prisoners. One of the news- 
sheets of the period, published on January 12th, 1642-3, relates this 
story : — 

It being also informed from Manchester that there was one Sir John Talbot, a 
great Papist, but one that hath all this while stood as a neuter betwixt the King and 
Parliament, who, living within two or three miles of Manchester [Blackburn ?], sent 
thither in a very friendly manner, and invited some of the chiefe of them there to come 
to his house, promisinge them very kinde usage and some other courtesies by way of 
complyance with them. But they of Manchester, placing little confidence in his word, 
sent out a small party of horse to the said Sir John Talbot's to discover the prepara- 
tions he had made for their entertainment, and whether the same was not a treacherous 
plot to betray them into his hands, as indeed upon enquiry it proved to be ; for the 
said Sir John had secretly provided in his stables above an hundred horses fitted with 
all accoutrements, theire riders being near at hand upon occasion to set upon the 
Manchester men. But this being discovered, the Manchester forces being too few to 
deal with them, retreated back to the towne [Blackburn ?], and about three hundred of 
them went presently to the said Sir John Talbot's (who was then with all his horse 
upon flight), pursued them and killed divers of them, took about twenty of his horses, 
drove others into a river [the Ribble], where the riders were drowned, and their horses 
taken, and have seized upon the said Sir John's House, where they found good 
pillage. 1 

This was the first, and, so far as appears, the last attempt the Knight 
of Salesbury made to distinguish himself in the Royal service. He 
became, after this rash design, a marked man by the Parliament, and it 
was probably years after before he ventured to return to his seat on the 
Ribble. In the subsequent campaigns of the war Sir John Talbot does 
not occur in any military capacity. His estates were sequestered so soon 
as the Roundhead party had acquired the ascendancy. The sequestration 
was taken off on the payment, in 1647, of a very heavy fine. Sir John 
was afterwards pardoned, and resumed possession of his lands at Sales- 
bury. He died in December, 1659, a few months before the Stuart 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 22. 2 C. W. Tracts, pp. 70-1. 



A letter, parts of which are cited below, was written by the local 
Puritan commanders to Manchester soon after the attacks upon Black- 
burn. The copy of the letter is unsigned and without date ; — > 

Gents, — Wee had began to have given you a perticular of the passages att Blake- 
born, but were presently taken off it by new alarums, and since could never have 
opportunity to impart it, by reason of continued feares and business. Wee have now 
sent you here incloased a warrant from the Sheriffe, under the seale of his office, 
directed into this Hundred, and copie of his warrant into Loinsdale hundred, wherein 
we hope you will take note of the difference of his expressions, and whereby wee doubt 
not but you will evidently discerne the danger threatened against us, or you, or both. 
. . It is evident by these warrants what their [the Royalists'] great preparations are, 
and it is noe less probable that whenn they have their whole force assembled att Pres- 
ton, their intentions are presently to march forward against this hundred. . . Howe 
wee shall bee able to withstand them the Lord knoweth, beeing in want of armes and 
having noe horse att all. And in this exigence, if you could bee upon the confynes of 
your [Salford] Hundred, with what strength of horse and foote you can conveniently 
spare, to bee ready to joyne, and assist us if occasion be, it might (through God's 
blessing) prove advantageous to us, to you and to the cause. Wee give you hearty 
thanks for the powder and match you sent us, and shall bee answerable to you in 
payeing for it, and if nowe you could spare us twice as much as you did before, it were 
a great ffavour, and for that purpose wee hope to send horses to you for it. ' 

Encouraged by the success of their defensive disposition at Black- 
bum, the Parliamentarian Committee for Salford and Blackburn Hundreds 
decided to assume the aggressive, in the beginning of the next year 
(1642-3). The arrival in Lancashire of an experienced officer of the 
Parliament, Sir John Seaton, with his regiment of one thousand " dra- 
goniers," appeared to warrant this bold resolution. Sir John Seaton 
was a Scotsman by birth, who had served a long probation in the military 
science in continental wars. When his regiment was added to the home 
musters of militia and clubmen, a force of some 3000 men was available 
for an offensive movement. The town of Preston was the first object 
that invited the attention of the Roundheads. Preston had been chosen 
as the Royalist rallying-point ; being by its situation the natural centre 
of West Lancashire, and the majority of the inhabitants being warmly 
attached to the King's interest. It was, moreover, a partially-fortified 
place, and one that could be made strong by moderate additions to its 
defences. The Royalist gentry who had been obliged to flee out of 
Blackburn Hundred took refuge there. Sir Gilbert Hoghton, with the 
levies of Leyland and Amoundemess, had his head-quarters there, and 
so long as it remained in Royalist hands, Preston was a convenient base 
for hostile operations against Blackburn and Ribblesdale. It was, there- 
fore, imperative on the Roundhead leaders to attempt the capture 
of Preston, and they did not shrink from the duty so soon as the 

I Lane. Lieut., v. ii, pp. 312-14. 


■ military skill and force at their command seemed to promise a favourable 

Several narratives remain of this first assault upon Preston. One 
chronicler says that " Blackburn Hundred being well provided of Sol- 
diers," having " many companies in it of resolute men, and Colonells 
Shuttleworth and Starkie having received intelligence from divers the 
friends to the Parliament in Preston of the state of the town and how 
weakly it was kepte, and withall desired by them to help to free them of 
that bondage they were under, — it was resolved and agreed that they 
would try what they could doe to reduce Preston with all Amoundemess 
Hundred to the obedience of the Parliament (but it was exceeding close 
raised)." In pursuance of this intent, " in February their forces were 
gathered up towards Blackbume ; together with some of Amounder- 
ness Hundred, who were fled out of the country for fear of the King's 
party ;" and Sir John Seaton and Major Sparrow came up from Manches- 
ter, " to assist and give them theire counsell."^ Monday, February 6th, 
1642-3, Sir John Seaton and his men marched in the direction of Black- 
bum. He was "attended with Serjeant Major Birch ; with them three 
or four companies, and as many from Boulton ; all these came to Black- 
bum on Tuesday night [Feb. 7th] ; thence marched along with them 
four or five foot companies of Blackburn Hundred, under the command 
of Captain Nowell of [Little] Mearley, and other Captains, towards 
Preston, together with two thousand clubmen, upon Wednesday night, 
and betimes the next rooming." It was thus on Wednesday night, 
Feb. 8th, that the march of the attacking force from Blackbum to Pres- 
ton was made, and early on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 9th, that 
Preston was assaulted and stormed. 

The Walton suburb and Ribble Bridge were occupied at daybreak 
by the Roundheads, and after two hours' severe fighting, Preston was in 
the hands of Sir John Seaton.^ In the assault were killed, on the 
Royalist side, Adam Morte, Mayor of Preston ; Captain Radcliff Hogh- 
ton, younger brother of Sir Gilbert, and other officers. The prisoners 
taken included Captain Farrington of Worden ; George Talbot, son of 
Sir John of Salesbury ; Captain Anderton of Clayton ; two or three 
cadets of the house of Hoghton ; Richard Fleetwood, Ralph Sharrock of 
Walton, and many more. Three ladies of position, Lady Hoghton, Lady 
Girlington, and Mrs. Townley, fell into the hands of the Parliamentarian 
commander. ChaHes Townley escaped with difficulty. Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton made good his escape to Wigan, where he was joined by the 
Earl of Derby, and whence, some days after, he issued to make an 
attack upon Bolton, which was repulsed. 

Di«e. of Warr, p. 23. z C. W. Tracts, pp. 71-5 ; and p. 127. 


The week succeeding the capture of Preston was spent, by Sir John 
Seaton and his East Lancashire auxiliaries, in the construction of earth- 
works and other additions to the former fortifications of the town. Hav- 
ing done this, under the direction of Rosworm the engineer, the Parlia- 
mentary general began to make excursions into the surrounding country. 
On the 14th of February, 1642-3, a detachment of Blackbumshire men 
was sent to make a demonstration at Hoghton Tower, it having been 
ascertained that Sir Gilbert Hoghton had left the Tower very weakly 
garrisoned. On the appearance of three companies of Roundheads 
before the mansion it was at once surrendered. But the exultation of 
the Parliament men over their easy conquest of a place of so much 
natural and artificial strength was quickly turned into grief by a sad 
catastrophe that occurred, by which many lives were sacrificed. An 
explosion of gunpowder destroyed a portion of the Tower within a few 
minutes of its surrender, and buried a company of soldiers in the ruins. 
The details of this misfortune are given in documents of the period. 
The writer of the Discourse of the Warr has this reference : — " They 
[the commanders for the Parliament] also sent some companies of Soul- 
diers to Hoghton Tower, who seased upon it and kepte garrison there. 
But a fearfull accident befell them to their losse and greef, for through 
want of heedfulnesse some Gunpowder was set on fyer, which blew upp 
and threw downe some part of the House, and slew divers Souldiers, 
amongst whome Captaine [Nicholas] Starkie the Colonell son was one, 
which was greate sorrowe to his father."^ A tract dated February 14th, 
1642-3, afibrds minuter information of the circumstances of this calamity. 
It seems that young Captain Starkie, being a forward soldier, was the 
first to enter the Tower with his company, and the explosion occurring 
while they were housed in the upper apartments, killed the whole num- 
ber of them almost instantaneously. 

My intent is to proceed to relate of what hath happened since [the Preston affair] 
in our parts, viz., That upon Tuesday, being the 14th of this instant, there was sent 
from Preston three captains and their companies, to the number of about three hun- 
dred, the most of Blackebome men, to take a castle called Houghton Tower (belonging 
to Sir Gilbert Houghton) which lies between Preston and Blackebome, and was forti- 
fied with three great pieces of ordnance, and some say with betwixt thirty and forty 
musqueteers, and some say more. Our men approaching near the said Tower, first 
shot against it to summon it, whereupon they in the Tower desired half an houres 
time to consider what they should doe, which was granted to them accordingly, after 
which the result of the parley was that they would deliver up the Tower to our men 
upon quarter, which was by our men granted unto them as they desired. Whereupon 
our men (thinking all had beene as was pretended by them) entered the Tower ; and 
Captain Starkey of Blackebome [Huntroyd], a worthy gentleman, and his company, 
was the first that entered into the said Tower, and in the same found good store of 
I Discourse of Warr, p. 24. 


armes and powder strewed upon the stairs ; wherefore he with his company going into 
the upper rooms of the said Tower to search for more, were most treacherously and 
perfidiously blown up by two of them to whom they had before given quarter, who 
had a traine of powder laid, and when Captain Starkey and his men, to the number of 
above one hundred, were above in the House, gave fire to the said traine, and blew 
both him and all his men, with the top of the House up, threescore whereof were 
afterwards found, some without armes and some without legges, and others fearfull 
spectacles to looke upon. Six of them whom they had given quarter unto they had in 
hold, the rest got away before ; but our men have the Tower and three pieces of great 
ordnance that were cast besides divers armes. And thus ended this lamentable 
Tragedy of these perfidious creatures whose religion will allow them to make no eon- 
science of dealing treacherously with Protestants, as also to blow up whole states and 
kingdoms at one blast, &c.^ 

The above narrator assumes that the fatal explosion at Hoghton 
Tower was an act of treachery. But proof is lacking that Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton's men were guilty of the dishonourable conduct of killing by a 
premeditated piece of unsoldierly revenge the enemies to whom they 
had capitulated, and from whom they had obtained quarter. Probably 
the accident arose out of the recklessness of the Roundhead soldiers 
themselves in lighting their pipes in a place where gunpowder was lying 
strewn about the floors and stairs. Indeed, the author of the tra.ct Lan- 
cashire's Valley of Achor dismisses the suspicion that naturally arose on 
the moment in Puritan circles that the Hoghton disaster was the result 
of a plot to massacre their foes, laid by the " Papists," and confesses 
with grief that it was a consequence of the baneful habit of tobacco- 
smoking practiced among the Parliamentarian soldiery. His allusion 
to the Hoghton Tower explosion is subjoined :■ — 

Haughton Tower. — It was not long after that this glorious victory [at Pres- 
ton] was clouded by a dark and terrible blow at Haughton Tower, where the miscar- 
riages of great and small in the taking of Preston did us more mischief than all our 
enemies from the entrance of our hostility to that time ; as sometimes Israel's sin 
through Balaam's counsel prevailed to punish them more than Warre or Witchcraft. 
Our men were going down to take the Tower, and finding it prepared for entrance, 
possessed themselves of it, till being burdened with the weight of their swearing, 
drunkennesse, plundering, and wilfuU waste at Preston, it dispossessed them by the 
help of Powder to which their disorders laid a Train fired by their neglected Matches, 
or by that great Soldier's IdoU, Tobacco. However it was, sure it is, that the place 
so firmly united chose rather to be torn in pieces than to harbour the possessours. O 
that this thundering alarm might ever sound in the eares of our Swearing, Cursing, 
Drunken, Tobacco-abusing Commanders and Souldiers, unto unfaigned Repentance ! 
For do they think that those upon whom the Tower- fell and slew them, were sinners 
above the rest of the Army? Let Christ that asked a like question, Luke viii., 4-5, 
give the answer : — " I tell you nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," 
&c. Though our Sinnes thus clouded our Sun in the cleare daye, yet was not the 
praise of God's glorious goodnesse and power to be darkened." 
I C. W. Tracts, pp. 79-80. 2 lb. pp. 127-8. 


The portion of Hoghton Tower destroyed by the accident cannot 
now be traced in the appearance of the fabric ; but Kuerden, who lived 
hard by, and must have known the nature of the damage, states that it 
was " a very tall tower or gate-house" between the inner square court 
and the second or outward, that was blown up. In the original design 
of the buildings, a tower of greater altitude than the existing outer gate- 
way tower surmounted the gateway which gives admission into the inner 
court. Th^ gateway itself remained uninjured, but the upper storeys 
were shattered and the roof blown away. In the restoration this central 
tower was dispensed with, and the structure of the block reduced to the 
same elevation as those on the other sides of the upper quadrangle. 

The Parliamentarian movements in the latter end of this month 
(February) and the beginning of March embraced the occupation, with- 
out opposition, of Lancaster Castle and town, by several companies 
under the command of Captain William Shuttleworth, a cadet of the 
Gawthorpe family ; and a reconnaissance from Preston against some 
Royalists collected in the Fylde, conducted by Colonel Shuttleworth, 
who considerately afforded to the Royalist gentry the chance of getting 
safely away. 

Thus far, the first campaign of the East Lancashire forces in 
Amounderness and Lonsdale had been successful. But the licentious, 
plundering disposition of the Parliamentarian levies had been painfully 
manifest after the capture of Preston. These rough fellows out of Pendle 
Forest and Rossendale, so soon as the exigence of battle ceased to 
inspire their animal courage and force, betrayed a total absence of dis- 
cipline, and, on the attempt of their commander. Sir John Seaton, to 
enforce military rules, they broke out into open mutiny, and so menaced 
his life that he was obliged to fly, first to Lancaster, then to Manchester.' 
By this untoward procedure, the way was paved for ignominious defeat, 
and the loss of all that had been gained by good generalship and sturdy 
fighting. While the Roundheads were misbehaving themselves at Pres- 
ton, the Earl of Derby crossed the Ribble with all the force he could 
raise, and marched to Lancaster, which was reached on Friday, March 
1 7th. In his attack upon the town, which was instantly made. Captain 
William Shuttleworth, the brave son of Colonel Richard Shuttleworth, 
of Gawthorpe, met his death. " Upon Friday, they [the Royalists] 
entered the Towne of Lancaster several waies, their being very few sol- 
diers, if any, to resist them save those that kept the Castle. Captaine 
William Shuttleworth and some souldiers with him being not far from 
the Castle, and not being wary of their entrance at soe several waies, 
was sodenly surprised and slayne before he could recover it.'"* But the 

I Seton's Letter in Chetham Miscellanies, v. iii, 2 Disc, of Warr, pp. 28-9. 


small garrison of Parliamentarians held the Castle. A Royalist account 
of the attack states that Lord Derby had under his command about 
4,600 men ; that the Roundhead defenders numbered 600 musketeers ; 
that the assailants, " after two hours' hot service, forced the mote, and 
drave the Rebels into the Castle ;" and that Captain Shuttleworth, and 
many of the townsmen, " were killed at the Castle Gate, the Maior and 
divers of the townsmen, such as were most seditious, being taken 

Tidings having reached the Manchester Committee that the Earl of 
Derby was attacking Lancaster, Colonel Assheton of Middleton marched 
from Manchester, on March i8th, with 2,000 men for its relief The 
Colonel reached Preston the same day, and the bulk of the garrison 
there was joined to his force. The Earl of Derby quickly heard of the 
purpose of Colonel Assheton, and being unwilling to meet him in the 
field, stood until he knew the road the enemy was taking ; then with- 
drew from Lancaster, and marched on Preston by another route, design- 
ing to capture the latter town while the Roundheads were away upon a 
bootless errand on the Lune. This astute project was realised ; and 
the night of Monday, March 20th, found the Earl's little army on Ful- 
wood Moor, ready to surprise Preston before daylight. The town, 
deprived of the major portion of its defenders, was stormed after a stiff 
fight, in which the few hundreds of Parliamentarians in the place were 
cut to pieces.'' 

Colonel Assheton, commanding the main body of the Roundheads, 
pushed on from Lancaster to relieve Preston, but too late to effect that 
object ; and finding the way blocked in that direction, passed by way of 
Chipping and Whalley into East Lancashire, where his disorganised sol- 
diers, finding themselves among friends and kindred, might recover from 
their consternation. The local chronicler writes : — " The Parliament 
Partie was much dejected by these disasters. Nevertheless the Colonell 
within a short space after his return home, calling up the Country about 
him to Rochdall, made known unto them his condition, how he wanted 
money to supply his souldiers withall, as allso for other . . which 
the Countrey people furnished him with all speed. And he had a fur- 
ther designe in his minde, and prosecuted it, as shall be shewed.'" The 
tactics of both parties at this time seem to have been, not to seek out 
the enemy with the purpose of fighting a pitched battle in the field, — 
the troops on either side being yet too new to soldiering for such 
decisive action to be risked, — but rather to pursue a system of sudden 
attacks upon weakly-protected points of the enemy's lines. The Earl of 
Derby had, indeed, expressed his determination to make a renewed 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 85. 2 Disc, of Warr, pp. 29-30. 3 lb. pp. 30-1. 



attack upon Manchester after his Preston success, but found a good 
excuse for abandoning that enterprise, and contented himself with a 
second advance upon Bolton. His forces delivered this assault upon 
Bolton on Thursday, March 28th, 1643.' He was again vigorously 
received and repulsed. Colonel Assheton's design was an attack upon 
the Royalist towns of Wigan and Warrington. Wigan was approached 
by the Roundhead force on March 31st, and was captured on the ist of 
April. The assault upon Warrington, April 5th, did not succeed. 

In the beginning of April, while the Lancashire forces of the Par- 
liament were making offensive movements in the south-west of the 
county, the Earl of Derby suddenly re-appeared on the western border 
of Blackburn Hundred. The Earl advanced as far as Blackburn during 
this foray, and occupied that town apparently with little resistance. No 
particulars are left on record of this second Royalist capture of Black- 
bum. The only allusion to the event is found in the news-sheet entitled 
the Perfect Diurnal, of the date of April 6th, 1643, and the sum of the 
information is that the Royalists, shortly before that date, and after the 
storming of Preston, had advanced eastward and taken Blackburn." 
Possibly the forces of the Earl, after the repulse at Bolton, were divided, 
one contingent being marched westward to check the Roundhead attacks 
upon Wigan and Warrington, while the other was sent north through 
Leyland Hundred to Preston ; and the latter detachment might be 
turned aside as far as Blackburn, which had been left with few defenders, 
and so became an easy spoil. The Perfect Diurnal adds, however, that 
Blackburn was very speedily recovered by Sir John Seaton, who had 
again been sent from Manchester with a considerable force to re-take 
Preston, if possible, and to afford assistance to the native levies in this 
part of the county in their attempts to withstand the attacks of Lord 
Derby's men. Some ambiguity rests upon this occupation of Black- 
bum, as to its place in the order of events ; whether it was on his way 
from Preston to Bolton that the Earl of Derby fell upon Blackburn, or 
whether he came thither after his defeat at Bolton on March 28th. The 
writer of the Valley of Achor tract makes a passing reference to the 
occurrence, after his narration of the operations on the Lune. How 
" our forces" were " divided and diverted," writes this chronicler, 
"walked and breathed to and fro, whilst the Earle fires Lancaster, 
recovered Preston, and rifled Blackburne, I have no mind to inquire, but 
doe sadly remember."* 

Sometime during the Civil War, — either in the course of the Earl 
of Derby's movements between Preston, Bolton, and Blackburn in the 
Spring of 1643, or the year after during the passage of Prince Rupert's 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 133-4. 

z lb. p. 96, 

3 lb. p. 132, 


army, — severe fighting took place about the lower part of Tockholes, in 
the vicinity of the church. This could not have been the scene of 
either of the affairs near Blackburn between Colonel Shuttleworth and 
Sir Gilbert Hoghton before described, for in both those cases the attack 
came from other directions, and the fighting was confined to the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the town. About forty years ago various relics of 
a battle were disclosed in a field on Mr. Parker's farm in Tockholes. 
Baines notes the discovery :— " Forty horses' heads, bones, cannon-balls, 
and clubs were, in 1826, dug out of a field in this township [Tockholes], 
called ' Kill Field,' in which a battle is believed to have taken place in 
1642.'" Of course the date given by Baines is quite conjectural, and 
there is no account of any battle on this side of Blackburn in 1642. 
Upon local inquiry I ascertained that it was in the year 1833 the remains 
mentioned by Baines were discovered. The pit in which they were 
found is situated at the upper end of a field that slopes towards the 
dingle below Crowtrees farm. The spot is about a quarter of a mile to 
the west of Tockholes Church. According to the statements of elderly 
persons in the neighbourhood, who saw the remains that were brought 
up in the cleansing of the pit, the exact number of skulls of horses 
found in the muddy bottom was thirty-eight, and there were also several 
horses' feet and leg-bones. One informant mentions that some large 
metal buttons were turned up. The bones were removed to the farm- 
yard by the farmer, and what became of any other relics is not remem- 
bered. The field in which the pit lies is marked " Pit Field" on the 
Ordnance map. At the time of the discovery, there was a similar pit in 
another part of the same field, which it was conjectured might have been 
made the receptacle of other bones ; but this pit was filled up without 
being cleaned out. There is no mention of any battle implements having 
been found with the bones, but several cannon-balls have been picked 
up in other parts of the township within the last forty years. One of 
these ancient missiles was found in a field called " The Green," just 
above the Bethesda Chapel. Another was found on Cartridge-hill, a 
lofty fell a mile or so further to the south. Some musket-bullets, also, 
were once gathered in a small field behind the Old Independent Chapel, 
a short distance from the pit where the bones were found. These are 
all the traces of the fight in this vicinity of which information can now be 
gleaned. They suffice to indicate a battle of some severity, in which both 
troops of horse and musketeers were engaged, and at least one piece 
of ordnance brought into use. A skirmish in which forty horses were 
killed, not to consider what bones of dead horses may have been interred 
in other pits, cannot have been of an insignificant character. The 

I Hist, of Lane, new edn., v. ii, p. 81. 



battle-ground being so near the old Church of Tockholes, it may be suj>- 
posed that the bodies of the soldiers killed in the action would after- 
wards be removed for burial to the consecrated ground ; which would 
account for the absence of human bones along with those of the horses. 

For some days after the encounters of the hostile parties at 
Bolton, Wigan, and Warrington, there was quiescence in both camps. 
The time was spent in the concentration of troops and the collec- 
tion of supplies. The Earl of Derby was too ardent and enterprising to 
rest in inaction a day longer than the necessities of the situation required, 
and so soon as he found his forces sufficiently recruited, he set forth on 
another adventure. This was an expedition into the heart of Blackburn 
Hundred, intended to effect the subjugation of the whole Hundred to 
the King's authority. About the 19th of April, 1643, the Earl began 
to move up the Valley of Ribble in prosecution of his aggressive design. 
The time was well chosen, for not only were the Parliamentarian colonels 
in the Hundred weak and unprepared for the encounter, but their sol- 
diers were dispirited by recent defeats. Colonel Assheton was posted in 
Salford Hundred, too far off to render immediate assistance to Colonel 
Shuttleworth in his efforts to repel the enemy. A private letter relates 
" that the Earl of Derby, the Lord Mollineaux, Sir Gilbert Hoghton, 
Colonell Tildesley, with all the other great Papists in this County, issued 
out of Preston, and on Wednesday noon [April 19th] came to Ribches- 
ter with eleven troops of horse, 700 foot, and infinite of Clubmen, in all 
conceived to be 5,000.'" Other estimates of the Earl's strength reckon 
it at about two thousand soldiers of all arms. The mean of 3,000 to 
4,000 men may be accepted as the correct statement. The Earl moved 
with silent celerity, and got a good many miles up the valley before the 
enemy became aware of his advance. From Ribchester he marched 
" over Ribble at Salesbury Boat and by Salesbury Hall, and soe was well 
neare gotten to Whaley before he was discovered ; his Clubmen accord- 
ing to their practice plundering in most of the townes [townships] they 
passed by or thorough."^ The Puritan party were evidently disconcerted 
by the movement. A small body of Roundhead soldiers was at the 
time posted at Dunkenhalgh on the HjTidburn, a tributary of the Calder ; 
a few troops also were with Colonel Shuttleworth about Padiham. One 
" E. F.," writing from Padiham, narrates : — " We lying at Dunkenhalgh 
hall with our two Troops, hearing of his [the Earl's] great force retreated 
to Padiham, having before sent to Colonell Shuttleworth to raise the 
country, which he did ; all the firemen [musketeers] came in the next 
morning (though they have had no pay this 5 weeks), and some few 
clubmen ; I did compute us to be 60 horse, and some 400 foot, not 

I C. W. Tracts, p. g6. 2 Disc, of Warr, p. 31. 


above five hundred I am sure at the first."^ Another annahst says : — 
"The Earle accompanied with 2,000 (as is judged) came to Ribchester 
over night, to Whalley by eight of the clocke to a green not far from 
Padiham. Our side had but two or three hundred Fire-men, and four- 
score or a hundred Horse, so that in means there was no possibility of 
safety.'"* Old Colonel Shuttleworth did all that man could do in the 
emergency, and put a bold face upon the matter. The news of Lord 
Derby's approach was brought " to Padiham and Galthrop to Colonell 
Shuttleworth in the night tyme," Blackburn Hundred " being then in a 
weak condition to rescist him, the souldiers at that tyme in no parte of 
it in any bodie or companies, but dispersed and also wanting ammunition 
and powder. Nevertheless the ould Colonell sent intelligence into the 
Hundred before morning of tlie Earl's approach, summoning all to come 
up to him in the morning with speed with their best weapons.'" Before 
the Earl could reach Whalley the place had been visited by a Round- 
head scouting party : — " We marched with our horse towards Whalley, 
where we tooke a man and 2 geldings of Mr. Latham's the great Papist, 
and retreated to Read Bank."* Of the skirmishes that ensued between 
the hostile forces, by which a general action was brought on, against the 
purpose of the Parliamentarian commander, the following particulars 
are recorded in the two principal narratives of this fight : — 

Betymes in the morning the Earl's armie were all drawne up and over that River 
that runs by Whalley called Calder, and there they with the piece of ordnance were 
set in a bodie as to receive an Enemie. The Earl with other of his commanders were 
up at the Abbey, Sir Ralph Assheton's House, whilst Mr. Tildsley with others scoutted 
up towards Padiam, yea, as far as Reed-head. Now the Colonells Shuttleworth and 
Starkie being both come to Padiam with some of the Captaines were in a great per- 
plexitie, knowing not what to doe, being (as was said) unprovyded. Yet some Cap- 
taines were sent, some souldiers accompanying, to scout towards Whalley as /ar as 
Read, Mr. Nowell's House, to hear whether my Lord advanced or no, and making a 
stand there, consulting amongst themselves what was likeliest to be done upon the 
exigent. The Captaines were all of one mind as that it was not safe to withstand the 
Earle there. He was a strong partie and came on purpose provided, and they weake, 
their companies away scattered. Therefore the safest way was to retreat and preserve 
themselves out of their Enemies hand till their Companies could be gathered into a 
bodie with some aid and withal furnished with Ammunition which now they wanted, 
this being their resolution at Preston. This pleased not the Souldiers then by, that 
they should turn their backs upon their enimies before they saw their faces. Therefore 
a many of the Musketiers, being resolut men, replyed to the Captaines boldly, bidding 
them take what course they pleased for their safeties, yet they would aventure them- 
selves, see the enemie and have one bout with them if God will. And therefore 
gathering themselves together mad themselves readie to receive the enemie. And 
belyke eyther imagyning of themselves or having intelligence from others that the 
enemie would pass that way, they planted themselves in fields on the highway sid, 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 96. 2 lb. p. 135. 3 Disc, of Warr, pp. 31-2. 4 C. W. Tracts, p. {^6. 


betwixt Whaley and Padiam, under the Stone walls with their muskets readie charged, 
being hid, to give their enemie a volley of shot if they appeared. Long they lay not 
before they espied some of the Earles Horse and Foot mounting out of a hollow dingle 
betwixt Ashterley and Read-head. And Maister Tildsley was one of the foremost, and 
having gotten the tope of the Hill he enquired of a woman that dwelt in a little house 
by, where he was or how that place was calde. " Sir," said she, " you are at Read- 
head above the house of Mr. Nowell of Read. " "I am the more sorrie, " said he ; "I 
would not have his wyffe disquieted. " (Mr, Nowell was a strong malignant). Not 
long after this Discourse the Musketiers under the walls waiting their opportunitie let 
goe a volley of shot against them veiy hotly, which did put such a fear into them that 
immediately without delay they turned againe, and downe towards Whaley with all the 
speed they could make. And {as the report was) Mr. Tildsley was soe terrified and 
amazed that forgetting his way for haste tooke into that lane that leads to Mr. Shuttle- 
worth's house at Ashterlee, and then forced his horse to leape over a yate and passed 
down by Portfield to Whaley. The Musketiers perceiving them flee soe fearfully 
pursued them hotly and took divers Foot Clubmen. Presently, upon the Report of 
the Muskets, many came unto them, and some carried the Prisoners to Padiam, and 
the rest joyned with the Musketiers to pursue the enemie.' 

The writer of the Padiham letter on the affair, with the initiate 
" E. F.," tells the same story in brief, and was evidently an active partici- 
pant in the fight ; indeed, he claims to have been the instrument of 
leading the Royalist troopers into the trap that had been set for them :- - 

Here [at Read-bank] we discovered about 150 horse to follow us, and when our 
foot was come thither to us, our horse retreated more, our foot advanced close under a 
wall, only myself stood and faced the enemy. I made as though I fled, they pursued 
me ; when I knew they were in the command of our men, I advanced againe and shot 
off my pistoll (being the signe for our foot) ; whereupon our men discharged with a 
great shout ; the enemies' horse fled in great disorder, we wounded many, took forty 
prisoners, some horse, and 60 musquets ; our firemen pursued them to Whalley. ^ 

The scene of this ambuscade (so successful in its results that it was 
the starting point of the Royalist defeat at Whalley by a far inferior 
force) will be identified by the reader familiar with the country between 
Whalley and Padiham, or by others on a reference to the six-inch Ord- 
nance map. The present road from Whalley to Padiham is of modem 
construction. It branches off from the Accrington and Whalley turn- 
pike near Park Head, and at first follows closely the right bank of the 
Calder, through the lower portion of Read Hall Park. The old road 
between these towns ascended the hill to Portfield, thence descended 
into the glen through which the Sabden Brook makes its way, crossed 
the stream by Read Old Bridge, and abruptly ascended the other slope 
to the summit of the eminence known as " Read Head," a short distance 
above Read Hall to the north ; it then skirted the north side of Read 
Park, keeping the high ground to the hamlet of Read, and so on to 
Simonstone and Padiham. It was up this ancient road that the Royalist 

I Disc, of Warr, pp. 32-3. 2 C. W. Tracts, p. 97. 



Colonel Tyldesley and his troopers spurred their horses on the Spring 
morning in 1643, with the object of reconnoitring the Roundheads under 
Shuttleworth and Starkie, who were expected to be somewhere on the 
westward side of Huntroyd and Gawthorpe, guarding the mansions of 
their leaders. On quitting the glen and reaching the hill-top above Read 
Hall, Tyldesley, as related, made inquiries at a cottage as to his where- 
abouts, and was told by the woman of the house that he was at Read 
Head, hard by the house of Mr. Nowell, himself an ardent Royalist, 
then absent on military service. With characteristic gallantry. Colonel 
Tyldesley expressed his fear that the lady of Read, Mistress Nowell, 
might be terrified by the sound of firing and other noises of warfare near 
her mansion. From this point Tyldesley and his horsemen decided to 
advance a little further along the hill-road, not suspecting the close 
proximity of the enemy. But a few yards further on, concealed behind 
the walls of the lane and in the thickets on either hand, were the two or 
three hundred Roundhead musketeers, awaiting the signal of the 
approach of the Royalist horse to fire their volley. No sooner had 
Tyldesley and his over-venturesome troopers placed themselves between 
the muzzles of their hidden foes, than a sudden volley of musket-shot 
burst upon them. Saddles were emptied, horses and riders were struck 
down, and those who were unhurt turned about and rode back towards 
Whalley at their utmost speed. Tyldesley, the leader of the troop, lost 
his way in the hastiness of his retreat. A little to the west of Read Old 
Bridge, a by-lane connects with the road to Whalley on the left hand. 
This by-road leads up to Easterley (called " Ashterlee" in the narrative), 
on the estate of a family of Shuttleworths (an old, substantial house 
situated on the crest of the high bank above the Sabden-brook), and 
there terminates in the farm-yard. Colonel Tyldesley got into the by- 
lane by mishap, and, when he emerged in the fold at Easterley, discovered 
his error ; made his charger leap the gate, and rode across the couple of 
fields which separate Easterley House from the ancient seat of the Brad- 
dylls at Portfield. Here he recovered the right road, and mingling with 
his flying horsemen rode down into Whalley. There the sight of the 
retreating troopers, and the loud firing of the enemy's raatch-lock-men 
in close pursuit, created a movement of panic among the Earl of Derby's 
militiamen and clubmen, posted in the village and church. I now pro- 
ceed to quote further particulars of the engagement which the skirmish 
above-described rendered unavoidable, and which, through the conster- 
nation produced by the Parliamentarian ambuscade at Read, resulted in 
the rout, almost without an attempted stand, of the Earl of Derby's 
army. After the episode at Read Head, the conflict proceeded as 
follows : — 


Amongst those that came in then to them [the Roundheads in pursuit of Tyldes- 
ley's men], was . . Marsden, then a Lieutenant, after made a Captaine, a man of 
courage and hardie spirit. He incoradged the souldiers much with manly words to 
goe on, God would fight for them, and the like. So they pursuing with great shout- 
ing, and the nearer that they came to Whaley the shouting was more and greater, the 
hills and valleys giving the echoes, besids more comming and increasing. Whalley 
standeth in a Vale, having the hills on every side on which was much people standing 
and all shouted, putting amazement into the Earles Armie. The Earle being in the 
Abbey and divers of his companie in the Church and Tower, upon that great noyse 
made haste to get then The peice of ordenance was discharged twice or thrise at the 
most towards the Tower ; but with noe execution that was hard of. A boy that was 
upon a Steele in the field was shot about his knees, whether with a musket or the 
Ordenance was not certaine whereof hee died immediately. He was all that was 
slayne of the Parliament parte. Off the Earles companie an emenent captaine of much 
respect with him (yet a great plunderer), his name was Conney, was shot in the one 
of his eyes whereof he died afterwards and was carried away with them. The Earles 
Clubb men, being in the reare of his army, hearing the great noyse of shoutting, 
apprehending it fearfully, fled through the River [Calder] in much haste, he being most 
happie that could get through it with most speed and run the fastest away. Noe com- 
mand of the officers nor force of the horsemen could make them turne again or staye, 
but gone they would be ; which wrought so upon the rest of the amiie that they lyke- 
wise turned their backs and fledd soe disorderly and confusedly that (as relation was) 
the Earle himself had much adoe to cause them to take their Ordenance with them, 
he being of the last companie that was with it. Thus having turned their backes of 
Whaley, the shouters increasing, they pursued them with a greater noyse. And dyvers 
horsemen comming in followed with more speed taking some prisoners, and fynding 
Armes of all sortes cast in the way, not leaving of till they came so far as Salesbury 
Boat. The prisoners taken were most of them Clubmen of the fteild, about fortie 
who weare kept at Padiham till they were released. ' 

Other accounts of the Royalists' panic and retreat from Whalley 
accord with the foregoing. The Padiham missive continues : — 

The Earl of Derby and the rest were in the Abbey ; much ado we had to keep 
our Souldiers back ; the enemy (who were ten for one of us) discharged his cannon 5 
times, but hurt not a man of us (blessed be our good God), he drew into a body, we 
being out of order ran under hedges, played upon them with our muskets, and routed 
their foot, which fled over the Water, their horse still facing us ; our men still pursued 
them to Lango-green where Captain Ashton and myselfe with much ado caused our 
first men to stay till more came up, then our men shot ; their horse fled ; then all our 
horse came up and pursued them through Salisbury [Salesbury] Park, and to Ribches- 
ter ; and most of their great ones had some touch, or some narrow escape, as them- 
selves report. And having thus driven them out of the Hundred, we retreated to 
Padiham. « 

Then comes the short, complacent chronicle of the victory by the 
author of Lancashire s Valley of Achor, who tells gleefully how the hand- 
ful of Shuttleworth's musketeers, by reason of the " resolution God gave 
them, above and against all sense and reason," would needs let fly at the 

I Disc, of Warr, pp. 33-4. 2 C. W. Tracts, p. 97. 


enemy, who were suddenly turned to flight; when "our encouraged 
souldiers pursued them to Whalley, where their two or three shots of Pow- 
der (all they had at first to accomplish so great a work) were well 
increased by their enemies store ; from thence to the Sands [the ford of 
Calder], thence to Lango Green, thence to Rible-side, called Salsbury 
Boat ; the Horse and Foot took Rible, many of the Foot wading to the 
chin. In all this chase, being about five miles in length, they [the 
Royalists] often turned their faces, but as often ttimed their backs, and 
hasted away, till they had quit the Hundred and no more infested it.'" 
The pursuit thus commenced in the township of Read, and extended in 
a westerly direction over the township of ^Vhalley, across the Calder, 
through the townships of Billington, Dinkley, and Salesbury in Black- 
bum parish, terminating across the Ribble at Ribchester. Pursued and 
pursuers had to ford two considerable rivers, both ordinarily running 
high in April, the month in which the battle took place, and one narra- 
tive indeed states that where the Ribble was crossed near Salesbury Hall 
the soldiers of both forces were immersed to the chin. 

The reports that reached London of this Roundhead success are 
summarised in the Parlianuniary Chronicle of the time in the passage 
that follows : — 

Much about the same time also, namely, the latter end of Aprill aforesaid, letters 
out of Lancashire enformed for certain that the Earl of Darbie with 500 horse, 500 
foot, and about 2000 clubmen went to Whaley, a Towne nere Blackburn, sodainly 
seised on the towne and got into the Church and Steeple ; but the Inhabitants of that 
Hundred presently armed 300 musketeers, 300 horse and 200 clubmen, and with this 
small strength set upon them in the towne, beat the Earl and his men out and recovered 
it again ; and being the same time provoked and challenged by the Earl to come out 
into the field they did so, and set upon him there, slew 300 of his men, routed all his 
armie, and chased them six miles at the least The truth whereof was firmly ratified 
by divers letters from those parts.* 

The same chronicler again alludes to " the victory nere Blackburn 
in Lancashire " as one of several important engagements won by the 
Parliamentarians in the Spring of 1643. 

The Parliamentarians of Lancashire were unbounded in their 
thankfulness for this unlooked-for victory ; and well they might, for it 
completely changed the aspect of affairs in the county. Puritan perfer- 
vidity of religious sentiment saw in this marvellous escape and triumph 
a signal example of Divine interposition. Shuttleworth's victorious sol- 
diers returned to Padiham, where, wearied as they must have been, "hav- 
ing a good minister, some hours were spent in thanksgiving for the great 
deliverance, and be assured it is to be taken (next the first great bout at 

I C W. Tracts, pp. 136. 2 Pari. Chron., pt. i, p. 320. 


Manchester) the greatest dehverance we have had. We had one day 
last week, and on Friday next we are to observe a Thanksgiving both in 
Salford Hundred and this, with praises to our God. The intent of the 
enemy," concludes the writer, " was to overrun this Hundred, and so to 
Bolton and Manchester (as upon examination appears by the prisoners) 
and be assured if the Lord had suffered this part to fail, we had in al 
probability bin totally undone. The enemy stole all horses and beasts 
as far as they went ; I hope our Gentlemen in this county will consider 
to joyn and clear the county. This part which before was dejected, is 
now through God's mercy united and raised, and the common people 
never more forward, and the souldiers more couragious, but the Lord 
is our preserver.'" 

The discomfiture of the Earl of Derby's levies at Whalley was 
discouraging and damaging. But before impugning the Earl's military 
capacity on account of this untoward affair, the circumstances of his 
position must be considered. Lord Derby had been very scurvily used 
by the King and his advisers from the commencement of the war. He 
was the object of unjust suspicion at court, and had been systematically 
weakened by drafts of his men to serve under other leaders in the 
King's main army. The Earl's influence was so great in West Lanca- 
shire that his ability to raise troops to fight for the Royal cause seemed 
almost unlimited ; but once and again he had been required to send 
his best-equipped and trained regiments away from the county to be 
employed in distant operations, leaving himself almost destitute of men 
and means. Yet this ill-usage, which would have driven most men to 
the opposite camp in resentment, had no effect upon the high spirit of 
honour and the disinterested loyalty of the Lord of Lathom, though 
these frequent withdrawals of his ablest troops seriously prejudiced his 
efforts to maintain the ascendency of the Crown in his native shire. The 
force with which the Earl advanced from Preston into Ribblesdale, for 
the subjugation of Blackburn Hundred, though considerable in numbers, 
was chiefly composed of recent levies of tenantry and peasantry, with 
but a small proportion of trained and steady troops. The groundless 
fright which seized upon the Earl's forces on the appearance of the 
enemy, speaks the inexperience and want of confidence of the general 
body ; and the few skilled musketeers and horsemen in the force were 
unable to arrest the stream of fugitives, when once the movement of 
retreat had begun. In these campaigns, very little science was displayed 
on either side, at least in the desultory operations in the various pro- 
vinces of the country in which the combatants were principally the 
newly-embodied local militia and trained bands, and the leaders the 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 97-8. 


local gentry, to whom the rudiments of military practice were unknown 
a few months previously. Adventitious, however, as had been the vic- 
tory and the defeat at Whalley, its influence upon the issue of the strife 
was great. A chronicler thus remarks the Earl's dejected condition, and 
the recovery of hope among the Parliamentarians, after the Whalley 
passage-of-arms : — 

The Earle much dismayed and disconsolat with his Disasters made no stay till he 
came to Mr. Fleetwood's house at Penerthom, where he lodged that night in a very 
sad pensive condition, by reason of the dastardlines which appeared in his Army. 
What became of it afterwards was not materiall, but truth it was he never headed 
Army in Lancashire after till his last comming out of the Isle of Man, when he was 
defeated near unto Wiggon not long before his Death. Their Defeate at Whaley 
was strange and admirable, for to the judgment of Reason he had strength and power 
sufficient (as the Hundred of Blackbume then was) to have subdued it to the King, if 
not Salford Hundred to, for that Hundred, all but Manchester, was in a scattered con- 
dition. Colonell Ashton newly returned from Lancaster, his Army soe dissipated and 
discontented through want of pay that he could not gather them into a body till the 
Country had supplied him, which then was not done.^ 

The East-Lancashire Parliamentarian chiefs took full advantage of 
the Earl of Derby's despondent state, and the demorahsation among his 
men. At once on receipt of the news of the victory at Whalley and the 
enemy's confused retreat, Colonel Assheton (of Middleton) marched west- 
ward with the forces of Salford Hundred, horse and foot, reinforced by 
some of the troops of Blackburn Hundred and " some volimteers of 
Amoundemess, who being exyled from their dwellings by the enemies, 
put themselves under the leading and command of Captaine Edward 
Robinson."'-' With an army of about 2,200 men. Colonel Assheton's offen- 
sive movement commenced on the 28th of April. His route into West 
Derby Hundred was through Holland and Billinge. Colonel Tyldesley, 
after the rout in Ribblesdale, had gone to Wigan, which he held for 
Lord Derby with nine troops of horse and 700 foot. But the Royalists 
had not yet recovered courage, and, on the appearance of Colonel Asshe- 
ton, Tyldesley and his force decamped from Wigan. The Parliamen- 
tarian commander occupied the town, and before he left it, he " demolisht 
all the outworks and fortifications, burnt the new gates and posts that 
had been set up," and " took an oath of the townsmen never to bear 
arms against the King and Parliament." He then pursued the Royalist 
army, retreating northwards, — Lord Molineux and Col. Tyldesley in 
command. The enemy making no stand anywhere, Assheton "marched 
by Knowsley, the Lord's House, not offering any the least evil towards 
it."* The Earl of Derby, fearful of the sack and destruction of his 
mansion by the victorious Roundheads, had written to Col. Assheton, 

I Disc, of Warr, pp. 34-5. 2 lb. p. 37. 3 lb. p. 37. 



praying him not to bum his seat at Lathom, and offering a sum of £^00 
to purchase its immunity. But, says the record, " the noble Colonell 
sent him word that he scorned his money or the firing of his house, and 
desired nothing more of him than to meet with him, and to give him 
battell.'" On reaching Ormskirk in his advance, Colonel Assheton learnt 
that Molineux and Tyldesley with their forces had escaped him by crossing 
the Ribble some distance below Preston. They were "marched over Rib- 
ble Watter at Hesketh Bankes into the Fyld," and were then, it was re- 
ported, quartered in Kirkham. The Earl of Derby had gone to Warrington 
with the remnant of his force, but leaving his men there as a garrison, 
the Earl secretly passed through the western parts of the county ; forded 
the Ribble ; and while Lord Molineux's quarters were in Clifton and Col. 
Tyldesley's at Kirkham, they were surprised by the apparition of the 
fugitive Earl, who, " with a few horse, passed by Clifton with litle or no 
speech of him, and soe into the North to White Haven, and taking 
shipping there went into the Isle of Man, leaving his Countess and 
children at Lathom."" So writes the author of the Discourse of the Warr, 
but other records say that the Earl first betook himself to Hornby Castle, 
thence to Skipton Castle, before he quitted the country for the Isle of 
Man. A news-sheet issued in the early part of May, 1643, relates that 
the Lancashire gentlemen, knowing from intercepted letters from Lathom 
to the King what a quandary the Royalists were in, " immediately 
advanced, have taken Preston, and fetched away the twenty peeces of 
ordnance from Lancaster, and enforced the Earl of Derby to quit the 
countrey, and fiye from Hornby Castle into Yorkshire, into Skipton 
Castle in Craven.'" Whichever report be true, it is certain that the Earl 
did not long remain in Lancashire after the Whalley disaster ; but went 
to secure the Isle of Man, and left his strong-hearted Countess to defend 
Lathom House. 

The recapture of Preston, and movements in the Fylde and in 
Lunesdale subsequently, are recounted in detail in the Discourse. Out 
of the Fylde the King's force retired to Lancaster, Colonel Assheton in 
brisk pursuit ; from Lancaster to Hornby, thence to Kirkby Lonsdale. 
Although the Royalists under Molineux and Tyldesley did not make a 
stand at Hornby, but continued their precipitate retreat up the valley of 
the Lune, and so quitted the county, Hornby Castle was defended by a 
party of cavaliers for a brief space. The Castle was very strong in 
itself, and occupies an almost unassailable position on the summit of a 
high knoll hard by the confluence of the Wenning and Lune. Col. 
Assheton would probably have passed on without attempting to carry so 
formidable a place, either by siege or assault ; but a few of his soldiers, 

I C. W. Tracts, p. gg. 2. Disc, of Warr, p. 37. 3 C W. Tracts, p. 100. 


without orders, audaciously took the Castle by escalade. The Parlia- 
mentarian general, having driven the enemy out of Lancashire, com- 
menced the return-march southward on the 9th of May ; and, passing 
through Lancaster, took away from the Castle there some cannon which 
had been taken out of a Spanish ship ashore at Rossall. Through the 
inimical Fylde country the Roundhead soldiery plundered at discretion, 
and when they got to Preston began to fall out among themselves about 
the division of the captured cattle and other booty. 

Some days before Midsummer, 1643, Alexander Rigby, Esq., M.P., 
was sent down into Lancashire with a colonel's commission from Parlia- 
ment, " to raise forces to put the Hundreds of Layland and Amounder- 
ness into a posture of Warr." Colonel Rigby prosecuted his appointed 
task with energy, and mustered a considerable array out of these Hun- 
dreds. Captain Edward Robinson, who belonged to Kirkham, had pre- 
viously raised a troop of horse in that part of Amounderness, with which 
he had served under the command of Colonel Shuttleworth. This 
officer and his troop were now detached from Colonel Shuttleworth's 
force, and placed under the command of Colonel Rigby. Colonel 
Rigby's first military enterprise, in which he displayed the soldierlike 
qualities for which he was afterwards distinguished, was the reduction by 
siege of Thurland Castle in Lunesdale. To Rigby's contingent, raised 
in and about Preston, were united, for this undertaking, some " forces 
from Salford and Blackburne Hundreds."^ Thurland Castle was invested 
in the beginning of August. It was, however, not easy to get at. " It 
was moated about so that it could not be come to." Rigby's small 
ordnance " plaied oft against it with little execution. It was stronge. 
Out of it they shot desperately when they spied occation. They killed 
many that adventured too near it. Edward Breres [Breres of Walton], 
a Captaine of the Volunteers of Preston, was killed by adventuring too 
neare.'" But Rigby having defeated an attempt by Colonel Hudleston, 
coming out of Cumberland, to relieve the castle, the garrison were so 
disheartened that they surrendered the castle a few days after. Colonel 
Rigby returned to Preston in good heart after his victory, and spent 
some succeeding weeks in strengthening his regiments, and providing 
them with suitable officers. 

Meantime the Hundreds of Blackburn and Salford were menaced 
from a new direction. At the beginning of July, 1643, the Earl of New- 
castle, commanding one of the King's main armies, having won some 
advantage in encounters with the Parliamentarian army under Lord 
Fairfax in Yorkshire, appeared in force upon the eastern border of Lan- 
cashire, and forwarded to Manchester a summons to submission, which 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 41. 2 lb. p. 41. 



was boldly rejected. The Parliamentarians in these parts were in some 
alarm at the proximity of the Earl of Newcastle's army, and took imme- 
diate measures of defence. They " placed a garrison of twelve hundred 
men in Rochdale, and eight hundred more upon Blackstone Edge, to 
guard the passage into their county out of Yorkshire."' Reports in the 
news-sheets of the period (July — -August, 1643), refer to several attempts 
of Lord Newcastle to penetrate the mountain passes between Yorkshire 
and Lancashire, all of which were repulsed. First, it is related that the 
Royalist general sent " 200 horse to break through the passage at Black- 
stone Edge into their countrey, but with no successe, for their garrison 
in that place slew and took some of them, and sent back the rest to tell 
their fellows that they will hardly have passage that way, because it is 
naturally so strong that 500 men can keep 1,000." Foiled at Blackstone 
Edge, a portion of Lord Newcastle's force appears to have attempted a 
passage over the hills in the neighbourhood of Colne and Clitheroe ; 
for in the sheet of Certaiiie Informations, dated July 31st, it is stated 
that " some of Newcastle's forces had been defeated in Lancashire, near 
Colne ; some slain, and about forty taken ;" and further, on August 14th, 
it is reported that accounts from travellers are to the effect that " Lanca- 
shire is quiet since they [the Parliamentarians] beat the Newcastel- 
lians from Colne, Clitheroe,. and Tlwrnton.""^ These scanty statements are 
all the information to be had of the series of skirmishes the hostile forces 
fought upon the county border, in which the defenders of Lancashire for 
the Parliament were victorious. But by the local annalist of the war it 
is stated that about this time, or perhaps a little later in the year, " most 
if not all the companies [at Preston, under Col. Rigby] were called upon 
receiving Order to march into Blackburne Hundred to Healey More to 
a Randavow, and after that they had Order to March two myles further 
to Colne, to a Generall Randevouse betwixt both Hundreds, in the most 
remote part of the county, upon the borders of Yorkshire, to a place 
called Emmot Loane head, to be a terror to the Yorkeshire Cavillers who 
that Winter ranged up and downe.'" The concentration of both Round- 
head and Royalist troops in this hilly country, the former on the Lanca- 
shire, the latter on the Yorkshire side of the frontier-line, was continued 
until the close of the year (1643). 

Prior to the victories of the summer of 1643, which placed the whole 
of Lancashire (with the solitary exception of Lathom House, held by 
the Countess of Derby) at the mercy of the Parliamentary party, the 
Houses of Parliament, in urgent need of means to carry on the arduous- 
contest with the King, had passed an ordinance confiscating the estates 
of " Delinquents and Papists," and appointing sequestrators for the 

I C. W, Tracts, p. 146. 2 lb. p. 147. 3 Disc, of Warr, p. 43- 


various counties. The Lancashire Sequestration Commission consisted 
of twenty-three persons, seven of whom were connected with the Hun- 
dred of Blackburn, viz. : — Assheton of Whalley, Assheton of Downham, 
Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe, Nicholas Cunliffe of Hollings, Starkie of 
Huntroyd, Robert Cunliffe of Sparth, and Nowell of Little Mearley. In 
September, 1643, the deputy-lieutenants of the county were ordered by 
Parliament to appoint auditors to keep accounts of monies and goods 
taken by virtue of the sequestration ordinance, and the auditors chosen 
under this order were Ralph Assheton, Richard Shuttleworth, John Moore, 
and Alexander Rigby, Esqrs. Immediately upon the conclusion of these 
appointments the arbitrary process of sequestration commenced. One 
of the first to suffer was William Farrington, Esq., of Worden, a steady 
Royalist. In the Farington Papers is preserved an inventory of Mr. 
Farrington's household goods sequestrated on the 12th of September, 
1643, ^nd other documents relating to the procedure. The master of 
Worden was at this time absent from his estate, serving with the King's 
forces in the field. His wife, Mistress Margaret Farrington, laid a peti- 
tion before Sir Thomas Stanley, Bart., Ralph Assheton, Richard Shuttle- 
worth, Richard Holland, Alexander Rigby, and John Moore, Esqrs., 
Colonels of the Lancashire forces of Parliament, in which she shewed 
that the agents of the Sequestrators, in their unwelcome visit to Worden, 
had not only carried off her other household goods, but had also seques- 
tered the family heir-looms, which the ancestors of Worden had given 
and bequeathed " to the successive heires male of the house of Worden." 
These heir-looms the gentle petitioner prayed might be suffered to 
remain at Worden, seeing that her husband, whose fidelity to his King 
had incurred this forfeiture of his property, had only a life-possession of 
the heir-looms. To this petition, the Sequestrators appealed to returned 
answer that " if Mrs. ffarington will speedily pay jQ2>'i° fo'' the goods of 
her husband now sequestered, there will remaine sufficient proportion to 
allow her and her children accordinge to the power committed to us by 
the Parliament ; wherefore if shee pay this wee order that all the goods 
may remaine with her at the hoi^se.'" The lady of Worden was unable 
to find the required sum of redemption money, and accordingly her 
household goods were impounded. But she was allowed " purparture 
of the goods to the value of jQ\oo in lieu of her purparture of land ;" 
and parts of the remainder were bought in her behalf by Messrs. Richard 
Clayton and William Farington, yeomen, from Gates Holme and 
Edward Cowper, agents to the Sequestrators, for the sum of ^83. The 
total amounts of the Parliamentarian sequestration on this estate 
are computed at ;£^64S in goods, cattle, and movable property ; ^263 

I Farington Papers, p. 96. 



in value of lands sequestered at different times ; and in rents ^^46 ; 
altogether ;i£^954. In like manner, other prominent Royalists were 
mulcted at this period of depression in their party's fortunes in the 

At the beginning of September, 1643, ^^^ county had been so 
entirely cleared of the King's adherents (excepting the few companies 
shut up in Lathom House) that it was reported in letters from Manches- 
ter to London " that the whole county palatine of Lancaster enjoyeth 
yet ease, quiet, and freedom both from internall and externall enemies." 
Also that not only had the forces of Lord Newcastle been foiled in the 
movement towards Lancashire through the passes of the hills between 
the valleys of Aire and Ribble, but that the Roundheads were making 
raids into the parts of Yorkshire beyond Colne and Clitheroe ; for the 
Mercurius Britannicus of September 2nd reports that " the Lancashire 
horse still make incursions into Craven, in Yorkshire, and get horses, 
cattle, and sheep, from off the lands of those in arms against the Parlia- 
ment."' While the men of Blackburn district were thus keeping the 
eastern border of the county, those of Salford Hundred, commanded by 
Colonel Assheton, were away in Wales and Cheshire, subduing the country 
thereabouts to the Parliament, and with this work, in conjunction with the 
Cheshire Roundheads under Sir William Brereton, proceeding almost 
unopposed until the close of the year 1643. But in December, three 
thousand Irish soldiers brought over in Charles's interest landed at 
Wirral, and were joined by the Royalists under Lord Byron, who, 
taking command of the united force of about 4,000 men, assumed the 
offensive, and obliged Sir William Brereton to retire to Nantwich. Colonel 
Assheton, while marching to Middlewich, was attacked suddenly by Lord 
Byron, in the beginning of January, 1643-4, and completely beaten, 
leaving a hundred prisoners in the enemy's hands. The reverse was 
quickly retrieved. On the 19th of January, Lord Fairfax, who had 
transported his army out of Yorkshire, marched on from Manchester to 
relieve the Parliamentarians beleaguered at Nantwich ; his force con- 
sisting of 2,500 foot and 28 troops of horse. In co-operation with 
Brereton's and Assheton's forces, Fairfax, with an array of about 8,000 
men, gave Lord Byron battle before Nantwich. The battle was stub- 
bornly contested, but ended in the utter defeat and dispersion of the 
Royalists ; of the Irish troops under Lord Byron many were slain, and 
1,500 were taken prisoners. In this battle, Colonel Assheton's Lancashire 
men exhibited great valour. 

To Lathom House, that, like a sea-surrounded rock, still withstood 
the wave of revolution that surged over the county, numbers of the 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 148. 



fugitive cavaliers of Lancashire had resorted as the sole place of refuge 
after the defeats their party had suffered. Though the lord of the house 
was not within its walls, deeming his presence even more essential in his 
Island of Man, the spirited Countess of Derby was prepared to stand a 
siege before surrendering Lathom. The place was strong; with its 
massy embattled and moated towers it was well fitted to defy assault and 
to resist the effects of a cannonade by such small ordnance as was then 
in use. Among her garrison the Countess counted many gallant gentle- 
men, who were ready to defend their admirable lady-leader to the death, 
if need were. The house was, fortunately, well provisioned. On Satur- 
day, February 24th, 1643-4, the Manchester Committee of Parliamen- 
tarians, after frequent consultations, resolved " that Mr. Assheton, of 
Middleton, Mr. Moore, of Banck hall, and Mr. Rigby, of Preston (three 
Parliament colonels) should with all speed come against Lathom." The 
Countess of Derby received vague information of this movement in the 
morning of the next day, and at once took measures to meet the danger. 
Marching by Bolton, Wigan, and Standish, the Parliamentarian army 
appeared before Lathom on Tuesday, February 27th. Sir Thomas Fairfax 
had joined the force, and on the 28th he sent an officer up to the House, 
conveying to the Countess the ordinance of Parliament requiring her to 
surrender Lathom and cast herself upon the mercy of the Parliament. 
After some parleying. Colonels Assheton and Rigby were admitted into 
the House on Saturday, March 2nd, and offered the Countess free exit 
for herself and her troops, and permission to carry all their goods to 
Chester, and that the Countess with her family should be permitted 
either to dwell at Knowsley under protection, or follow her husband to 
the Isle of Man. The Countess rejected these terms, and proposed 
others of a temporising character, to which the enemy would not listen; 
finally, to counter proposals of Sir Thomas Fairfax, the proud lady 
returned an answer of point-blank defiance. The siege then com- 
menced, and took the form of a blockade ; Fairfax, misled as to the 
quantity of food in the place, thinking soon to starve the garrison 
into capitulation. In this the besiegers were disappointed ; and before 
Lathom fell the cause of the King in Lancashire was destined for a time 
to be reanimated, and Lathom to be relieved, by a very formidable 
diversion by the most dashing of the Royalist leaders — Prince Rupert. 

When the siege of Lathom House had lasted some ten or eleven 
weeks (from the last week in February to the first week in May, 1644), 
with no effect, by the confession of a Roundhead annalist, " but the 
losse of men's lives and spending of much treasure and victuals," a 
rumour became current that occasioned as much disquietude to Colonel 
Rigby and his Parliamentarians, as it awakened hope in the hearts of 



Lady Derby and her garrison. The report, which proved to be authen- 
tic, was that King Charles, influenced by the appeals of his hard-pressed 
friends in Lancashire, had resolved to despatch Prince Rupert into the 
county, at the head of a powerful army, first to relieve Lathom ; then 
to strike at the King's enemies where he might bring them to bay, and 
to storm the chief towns forming the Puritan quarters ; and thereafter 
to march hence into Yorkshire for the relief of the city of York, held 
for the King against the beleaguering armies of English and Scottish 
"rebels." It was on the 8th or 9th of May that the news of Rupert's 
approach was spread through the county. The Roundhead generals 
before Lathom, on assuring themselves of Rupert's advance, held a 
council of war, at which it was decided to raise the siege. Colonel 
Rigby knew that his little army of two to three thousand men would 
be utterly incompetent to cope with Prince Rupert's army in the field, 
for the estimates of the Royalist general's force were from 10,000 to 
15,000 men. Accordingly, on the 12th of May, Colonel Rigby with 
part of the besieging force moved away on the Preston road as far as 
Eccleston Green. Colonels Holland and Moore at the same time 
marched off their regiments, the fornier to Manchester and the latter to 
Liverpool, to aid the defence of those towns against the invader. For a 
short space Colonel Rigby remained at Eccleston, in doubt as to which 
way it would be safest for him to turn. Naturally, " the Colonell was in 
great feare of his familie in Preston, giving them Order to pack up his 
goods and flee up into Yorkshire, which was done."^ He was aware 
that the eventual object of Prince Rupert, his task done in Lancashire, 
would be to relieve York ; and " imagining," says one writer of the 
period," that " the Prince would either march through Blackbume or 
Lancaster for the releefe of Yorke," — the only passes through the Pen- 
nine mountains practicable for a large army being by the valleys of the 
Ribble and the Lune, and across Craven into the valleys of the Aire 
and Wharfe, — Colonel Rigby came to the decision to leave both these 
routes open to the Prince's march, to abandon the whole north and 
north-east of the county, and to retire upon Bolton. As Rigby marched 
into Bolton his force was augmented by " some other auxiliaries from 
Coll. Shuttleworth to the number of 4 or 5,000 in all ;" and there he 
awaited the progress of events. 

Prince Rupert, having recruited his army in Shropshire and Wales, 
appeared in Cheshire on the 19th, with an army of 10,000 men, chiefly 
horse, and reached the border of Lancashire on the 25th of May. At 
Stockport, after a brisk fight with the Roundheads posted there under 
Cols. Duckenfield and Mainwaring, the Royalist general forced the pass. 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 49. 

2 C. W. Tracts, p. 183. 


Deeming Manchester too strong to be carried by assault, Rupert avoided 
that town, crossed the Mersey at Trafford, and advanced upon Bolton. 
On the 28th of May the Royalist army was before Bolton ; and after a 
desperate conflict, the Prince, whom the Earl of Derby had joined 
before the attack, stormed the town, and put the greater part of its 
defenders and inhabitants to the sword. This capture of Bolton by 
Lord Derby and Prince Rupert is memorable as one of the most terrible 
and sanguinary episodes of that war, and many piteous stories of the 
assault and " massacre" have been preserved. Of the twelve or fifteen 
hundred Parliamentarian soldiers said to have perished in that dreadful 
carnage, many must have belonged to those Blackbumshire regiments 
mustered by Messrs. Shuttleworth, Braddyll, and Starkie. 

Colonel Rigby, commander of the garrison of Bolton, seeing the 
day lost, contrived to escape in the melee. The Roundhead soldiers 
who escaped the fury of a vindictive victorious enemy at Bolton made 
the best of their way to Manchester and Blackburn, where they joined 
the forces of the Parliament occupying those towns. 

Lord Derby and Prince Rupert, after their triumphant exploit at 
Bolton, proceeded first to Lathom, which flung open its long-sealed gates 
in joyful welcome to the Earl and Prince and their relieving army. All 
the colours taken from the enemy at Bolton were presented by the 
Prince to Lady Derby. Two or three days of rest and festivity were 
spent at Lathom ; and then, contrary to the anticipation of the enemy 
that he would proceed forthwith into Yorkshire, Rupert turned south- 
ward, resolved to reduce Liverpool before he quitted the county. In 
the attempt to carry Liverpool by a coup de main Rupert was frustrated. 
After two repulses, however, and a siege of about a fortnight, the 
Royalist force prevailed by its vastly superior numbers, and entered the 
town, which had previously been evacuated by the garrison. 

Prince Rupert returned to Lathom for the purpose of directing the 
extension of its defences in anticipation of the contingency of a second 
siege. By his advice, the Countess of Derby, and family, left the place, 
and repaired to the Isle of Man. From Lathom, about the 19th of 
June, the Prince commenced his long march to York, for the relief of 
the garrison there besieged. He selected the route through Blackburn, 
Colne, and Skipton, into the valley of the Wharfe. 

Rupert paid a hasty visit to Preston just before his departure from 
Lancashire, to marshal the recruits gathered for the Royal service in these 
parts. It is recorded : — "His [Rupert's] army was at its greatest when he 
went from Preston. It increased not in his march to York, for what forces 
Westmoreland and Cumberland afforded him came to him at Preston.'" 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 54. 




Colonel Shuttleworth was at this time lying at Blackburn, having' 
under his command the remnant of the Blackburnshire men that had 
not been sent to Bolton to share in that bloody defeat, with perhaps a 
few fugitives who had escaped thence. At most, his force cannot have 
exceeded from two to three thousand men ; and any serious attempt to 
bar the passage of Rupert was out of the question. For the Royalist 
army, in spite of its heavy losses at the storming of Bolton and Liver- 
pool, had been so greatly recruited during the month's sojourn in Lan- 
cashire, that the Prince was able to set out for York with a force estimated 
variously at from 14,000 to 20,000 men. Nevertheless, Colonel Shuttle- 
worth would not suffer the imposing host of the enemy to pass without 
some resistance. The second day of Rupert's advance, the 20th of June, 
brought him to the vicinity of Blackburn. Near Blackburn a sharp 
encounter took place between Rupert's vanguard and the Roundheads of 
the neighbourhood under Shuttleworth. This fight at Blackburn is 
mentioned in several contemporary publications, but no details of the 
action are supplied. The affair at Blackburn on Rupert's passage was 
something more than a mere skirmish ; for Sir William Dugdale, 
in his Short vieiv of the late Troubles in England^ while he omits all 
notice of minor local occurrences of the war, names the action at Black- 
bum and the defeat of the Roundheads : — " Colonell Shuttleworth 
defeated (20 June) at Blackburn in Lancashire by Prince Rupert." Two 
Parliamentarian chronicles mention the engagement ; one stating that 
Prince Rupert skirmished with Colonel Shuttleworth near Blackburn ; 
and the other referring to two combats, one at Blackburn on June 20th, 
and the second near Colne, June 25. Sir Charles Lucas is said to have 
commanded the Royalists in both, and Colonel Shuttleworth to have 
been wounded in the second. 

What have been supposed to be vestiges of some fight during the 
campaigns of the Civil War were found about fifty years ago upon the lower 
part of the Bank-hey pastures, in Little Harwood, which now form the 
public Cemetery of Blackburn. The place is about a mile from the 
centre of Blackburn, and lies on the left of the old road from Blackburn 
to Whalley and Clitheroe. It is believed that Prince Rupert, on his 
march through the parish in 164:4, divided his army at Blackburn, push- 
ing on one division by way of Clitheroe, and the other by Burnley and 
Colne, into Craven, thus facilitating the transit of his army, and extend- 
ing the field of his foraging parties for its supply. Colonel Shuttleworth 
may have endeavoured to block the progress of the division directed to 
march through Ribblesdale, shortly after its detachment at Blackburn 
from the force marched on the Burnley road, through Enfield and Padi- 

I FoiiOi Oxfd., i68r, p. 195. 


ham. It is therefore not improbable that the traces of battle disclosed 
on the Little Harwood and Wilpshire side of Blackburn may belong to 
an encounter of the hostile forces at the spot on that occasion. I am 
informed by an old inhabitant, whose father was hind upon the farm of 
Bank-hey, of the existence of a local tradition of a battle fought on the 
heights of Bank-hey. About the time, fifty years ago or more, that Mr. 
Rodgett, of the firm of Rodgett and Sparrow, bought the estate, some 
labourers employed on the improvement of the farm were engaged in 
draining the slope now forming the south comer of the Cemetery, when 
they came upon (in my informant's words) " a tremendous quantity of 
bones." The land at the spot was black, boggy land, and the Little 
Harwood brook flows at the foot of the declivity. When my infonnant 
lived on the estate the site of the discovery of bones was called, and 
I had been long antecedently, the " War Stables." During the construc- 
tion of the Cemetery, a workman found a number of bullets in the 
ground hereabouts while turning over the sod. 

The division of the Prince's army taking the more northerly route 
passed through Whalley and Clitheroe, crossing the ground where the 
Earl of Derby had suffered defeat fourteen months before. At Clitheroe 
the Castle had hitherto been held for the Parliament, but the Royalist 
commander took it and left in it a small garrison. Captain William 
Pateson, whose company had fonned part of Colonel Dodding's Round- 
head garrison at Lancaster, at this juncture " marched downe the Trough 
of Bowland and so into Blackburn Hundred to Clitherall [Clitheroe], 
till Prince Rupert marched up to Yorke." Then, when Rupert had 
passed on, this ofiicer followed in his rear, and " marched towards Leeds, 
carrying some prisoners thither out of Blackburn Hundred from Colonell 
Nicholas Shuttleworth ;" and Colonel Dodding, quitting Lancaster, 
"within two daies after Captain Pateson, went away marching thorow the 
dale countries of Yorkshire [Upper Ribblesdale and Wharfedale] up to 
the Leaguer of York, and Captain Swarbreck with him ; they were in 
the battle there, where Colonell Dodding lost many of his Regiment."' 

The Blackbumshire Roundheads under Shuttleworth had a second 
brush with Rupert's horse a little to the east of Burnley, which may 
have been the action near Colne above-noticed, between Sir Charles 
Lucas and Colonel Shuttleworth, in which the latter was reported 
wounded. Mr. T. T. Wilkinson is led by an entry in the Burnley Parish 
Register to fix upon the hamlet of Haggate, among the hills of Brier- 
cliffe, on the old road from Burnley to Colne, as the scene of this engage- 
ment. The Burnley Church Register records the burial of "Robert 
Ecroyd, a souldier for Thomas Eastwood," on June 27th, 1644, and also 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 50. 


of " Nicholas Starkie," " James Gabbott, of Billington," " Peter Hitchin, 
of Hackgate," and " Bernard Smith ;" all entered as " slayne at Hack- 
gate.'" As the report of the affair near Colne was dated June 25th, it is 
very likely to refer to the skirmish at Haggate, in which these soldiers 
fell. But it is possible that a third conflict took place in the more 
immediate vicinity of Colne. There is evidence of the predations of 
Rupert's troopers on the estates around Burnley in the memorandum in 
which Mr. John Halsted records that on the 24th of June, 1644, the 
Royalists of Prince Rupert stole from his place at Swinden five beasts, 
and a horse of his from Rowley. What Halsted suffered in loss of live- 
stock during this visitation of the enemy was the common fate of every 
" rebel" gentleman and yeoman in Blackburn Hundred. 

The appended letters, found among the MSS. of the Earl of Denbigh 
at Newnham Parrox, refer to the days during which Rupert was forcing 
his way through Blackburn Hundred and across the Yorkshire border to 
Skipton : — June 25th, 1644, Sir Thomas Middleton writes from Nant- 
wich : — " Satt. night. Prince [Rupert] is still in Lancashire, and not 
likely to get thence in any short tyme, soe that if wee can but be able to 
get together into a bodye in some short tyme, wee may then bee in pos- 
sibility to doe good service. Sir John [Meldrum] assures mee that the 
Prynce is not above 6000 foote and 8000 horse." June 27th. Fer- 
dinando Fairfax to Sir William Brcreton, at the rendezvous at Knuts- 
ford : — " Haste, post haste. Prince Rupert is upon his march to 
endeavour the raiseing of the seidge at Yorke, part of the forces being 
allready advanced as farr as Skipton in Craven, and hee is expected very 
shortly to follow with the mayne of his army." 

Rupert, having reached York at the end of June, by a skillful flank 
movement relieved the city and raised the siege, and then, accepting 
the challenge of the Parliamentarian generals to a battle in the open 
field, the great and decisive battle of Marston Moor was fought on the 
2nd of July. In that memorable battle, the forces on either side num- 
bered from 25,000 to 30,000 men, and included the finest regiments in 
both services, commanded by the ablest generals the war had produced. 
The Royalist army was under the command of Prince Rupert, with 
whom was the Earl of Derby, and of the Marquis of Newcastle. The 
army of the Parliament was commanded by the already famous General 
Cromwell, Sir Thomas Fairfax and General Lambert. Rupert and 
Cromwell, the two boldest warriors of the age, were opposed to each 
other in this battle ; and the gallant Royalists of Lancashire found them- 
selves confronted by Cromwell's invincible Ironsides. The struggle 
between the right wing of the king's army under Rupert and the left 

I Hist, of Paroch. Church of Burnley, p. 55. 


wing of the enemy under Cromwell was deadly. Lord Derby and 
Sir Thomas Tyldesley, at the head of the Lancashire regiments, per- 
formed prodigies of courage ; the Earl is said to have rallied his soldiers 
thrice when they recoiled before the onset of the Ironsides. But every 
effort proved vain ; and the close of that sanguinary day saw the 
Royalist host completely vanquished. Rupert fell back upon York with 
the loss of his artillery train, and the next day commenced a disastrous 
retreat, with the broken fragments of his army, through Richmondshire 
into Lancashire. The 20,000 men with which he had marched to York 
had been reduced by the heavy losses of battle to about 6,000, and 
among the killed and taken many hundreds of Lancashire loyalists were 

No official roll has been found of the Lancashire officers and regi- 
ments that participated in the battle of Marston Moor ; and I can only 
mention with certainty a few of the principal Royalists of the county 
who were in the battle besides the Earl of Derby and Sir Thomas 
Tyldesley. Colonel Goring was present with the contingent out of 
North Lancashire, which had been reviewed by Prince Rupert on Pres- 
ton Marsh a fortnight before the battle. Probably William Farrington, 
of Worden, also marched to York, between the two sieges of Lathom, 
in both of which he played an honourable part. Colonel Edward Chisen- 
hale, a member of the Chisenhales of Chorley, appears in this campaign. 
Among those out of Lancashire who perished at Marston Moor were 
Captain Christopher Anderton, probably of the Andertons of Lostock ; 
Charles Townley, Esq., of Townley; and, according to Vicars's 
Chronicle, " Colonel Houghton, son to Sir Gilbert Houghton."^ 

Retreating rapidly by forced marches, Rupert distanced his pursuers 
detached from the victorious enemy at York ; and, fearing that his way 
through Blackburn Hundred might be blocked by forces from Manches- 
ter uniting with those left in the Hundred, performed his backward 
movement through Lunesdale. On July 8th, 1644, six days after Marston 
Moor battle. Colonel Shuttleworth wrote from Padiham to the Committee 
for Parliament at Manchester : — " I have this morning intelligence from 
Captain Porter att Lancaster that Prince Rupert will bee this night at 
Horneby, but how strong we know not, and intendeth for Liverpooll as 
wee understand.'"* A week later, July isth. Sir George Booth wrote 
from Dunham to the Commander-in-chief at Nantwich: — "I am informed 
that Prince Rupert is come to Preston, or very neare it, with 6000 
horse and some foot, and that Lieutenant Generall Cromwell lefte the 
pursuit of him, and is returned to York to the Leaguer, so as the enemie 
hath more scope and liberty to advance as he pleaseth. And, there- 

J Pt. i, p. 2?i. 2 MSS. of E. of Denbigh. 


fore, it will behove us of this countie [Cheshire] to stand well upon our 
ward, and rally our fforces for the publique safetie.'" 

There is no account of encounter with any force of the enemy 
during Rupert's retreat through Lancashire. At the period of his transit 
the county was almost denuded of Parliamentarian soldiers. On his 
return march the Prince had not with him any portion of the Lancashire 
contingent. It was left behind ; one detachment under Colonel Goring, 
and a larger force under Colonel Tyldesley, that was wandering to and 
fro in ^Vest Lancashire a month afterwards. The Royalist garrison 
Prince Rupert had left at Clitheroe in his eastward advance, being under 
an incapable captain, had lost little time in evacuating the post on 
getting tidings of the great defeat at York. Says the local annalist of 
the War : — " Clitherall Castle was committed to the trust of Captain 
Cuthbert Bradkirk of Wray, a man of small account and of no good 
caring. He caused it to be repaired about the Gate House where it 
was ruined. He fetched out of the Country about great stores of good 
provisions of all kinds — Meall, Mault, Beef, Bacon, Butter, Cheese, and 
the like. [This officer was manifestly a smart forager, if a poor fighter.] 
He kept it [the castle], much to the prejudice of the country, till the 
Prince had lost the Battell at York. And when that was known to him, 
no enemie coming to oppose nor anie visible thing appearing against 
him, but out of the feare and guilt of his owne mind upon a sudden he 
caused the Draw Well within to be filled with some of the provisions he 
had plundered from the country, and without taking any leave he and 
his company did run away and left it.'" Perhaps the Roundhead writer 
is a little unjust in his stricture upon Captain Bradkirk ; for it is difficult 
to see with what prudence this officer and his band could have tarried 
longer at Clitheroe, when all the rest of the King's forces were being 
driven in headlong flight out of the county, without any hope of return- 
ing within a reasonable period. By his sudden withdrawal from Clitheroe 
Castle on hearing of the lost battle, Captain Bradkirk, at the least, 
saved his company from an inevitable surrender as prisoners of war a 
few weeks later. However, the other Royalist garrison left in the Earl 
of Derby's castle of Greenough, near Garstang, under the command of 
Captain Anderton, of Lostock, did bravely keep its post, in the midst of 
a district soon swarming with foes, and it was not until many months 
after that the castle was reduced by Colonel Dodding. 

On the 8th of August, it was decided by the Parliamentarian con- 
clave that " the Lord Fairfax should take care of Yorkshire, and send 
1,000 Horse into Lancashire to join with the forces of that Countie 
against Liverpoole, as also Cheshire and Derbyshire, for the reducing the 

I MSB. of E. of Denbigh. 2 Disc, of Warr, p. 53. 



rest of Prince Rupert's broken forces.'" By the time the detachment sent 
west by Fairfax reached Lancashire, some successes were scored by the 
local forces. The Perfect Diurnall for Monday, August 12 th, 1644, 
reported the receipt of letters to the effect that "Colonel Ashton (a valiant 
active gentleman) had taken 200 of the Earl of Barbie's Horse neere to 
Preston, and that Sir William Brereton, Major Generall of the Associa- 
tion of Chester, had sent a party of about 1,500 foote to join with the 
Lancasterians in beleaguering the town of Liverpool.'"' Other move- 
ments, in the vicinity of Blackburn and Preston, in which Colonel 
Nicholas Shuttleworth and Sir John Meldrum victoriously attacked the 
rear-guard of the retreating Royalist army, the author of the Discourse 
of the Warr describes with some minuteness. He states that Sir John 
Meldrum, "about the loth of August, being designed to clear this 
County and furnished with forces of Salford and Blackbume Hundreds 
with the remainders of Amonderness and a Regiment of the Yorkshire 
Horse,"—" set forward into Darby Hundred to seek them ; but they fled 
over Ribble Watter into the Fylde, out of which upon a false Alarum 
they had fled not above five days before." While Sir John Meldrum 
was trying to find his enemy south of Ribble, who had doubled back 
into the Fylde, " some scatterings of the Enemy aboad in or about 
Preston." The narrative proceeds :— 

Now Colonel Nicholas Shuttleworth lying at Blackbume with his Troop, upon 
the 1 5th of August he with a part of his Troop and some Countrymen, being desirous 
to go to Preston if possible (it being the Fair there), when they came to the Coppe 
at Walton they meeting with some of the King's part scirmished with them and put 
them 10 the flight. And in the pursuit they took a Scottish Lord called Ogles 
[Ogleby] and with him one of the Huddlestones of Millam Castle. And after that 
they met with more of that Companie about Ribble Bridge Hill and there had a sore 
disput with them, killing one of them at the Bridge End, a brave, portly man ; what 
his name was they could not learne, for they were so hard put to, that it was with 
great difficulty that they came off with honour and safetie — yet did, and brought some 
butties and their Prisoners to Blackbume that night, and went not to Preston [that is 
to say, did not enter the town, as they had purposed, to see the Fair].' 

A despatch of Colonel Nicholas Shuttleworth, concerning this fight, 
is in existence, WTitten from Whalley : — 

Riglit Honourable. — Upon Thursday last [Thursday, August 15th] marching 
with three of my troops upon Blackbume towards Preston, where the Enemie lay, I 
met 1 1 of their Colours at Ribble Bridge within a mile of Preston, whereupon after 
a sharp fight we took the Lord Ogleby, a Scotch Lord, and Col. Ennis, one other 
Col. slaine, one Major wounded, and divers ofiicers and souldiers to the number of 40 
in all taken, besides 8 or 9 slaine, with the losse of 12 men taken prisoners, which 
afterwards were released by Sir John Mildrum upon his coming to Preston the night 
following, from whence the Enemie fled. — Your humble Servant, Nrc. Shuttle- 

1 C. W. Tracts, p. 203. 2 lb., p. 204, 3 Disc, of Warr, pp. 54-5. 

4 Baines's Hist, of Lane, ii, p. 447. 



There is likewise a record of this affair in Vicars's Parliamentary 
Chronicle : — • 

August the two and twentieth, came credible information' by letters out of 
Lancashire to London, that the Lord Ogleby, a Scotch incendiary, fell upon Colonel 
Doddington, neer Preston in Lancashire, as hee was marching out of Yorkshire to 
Sir John Meldrum, then in Lancashire. Colonell Doddington, the first, had the 
worst, but young Colonell Shuttleworth, who indeed deserved to bee an elder brother 
for his activity and gallant performances in the service, came in timely to the relief of 
that valiant gentleman, Colonell Doddington, and put the enemy, consisting of foure 
hundred horse, to totall rout, slew many on the place, and took many prisoners ; among 
whom were the Lord Ogleby himself, Colonell Mynne, and Lievtenant Colonell 
Huddlestone, a man of power and much reporte in Cumberland ; and divers other 
persons of quality, Scottish commanders and gentlemen, were taken prisoners ; they 
also took three score Horse with their riders, and a party of these also endeavouring to 
get to Lathom House as a place of retreat, was surprised by our forces who lay before 
Lathom House, and every man of them taken prisoners. ' 

The flying visit of Colonel Nicholas Shuttleworth to Preston was 
immediately succeeded by the permanent occupation of the town by the 
Parliamentarian regiments under Sir John Meldrum, and the flight of 
the Royalist partizans into the rural districts of Amoundemess. The 
most circumstantial narrative of the war in this county says : — " At this 
tyme little was known at Blackburn of Sir John Meldrum's March, and 
yet the 1 6th day of August [the day after Shuttleworth's fight at Walton 
Bridge], about ten or eleaven of the clock at night he entered Preston, 
the Enemie flying from the towne downe into the Fylde ; for being far 
in Darbie Hundred and hearing that those Enemies that were there fled 
into the Fylde over Eibble Watter, he marched fast that day although 
it was a sore wet day. He quartered his Army in Preston about Satur- 
day and Sunday. Upon Saturday late at night came up to him a Regi- 
ment carrying all Black Cullurs that came out of Cheshire.'"* This was 
the regiment that Sir William Brereton detached from his Cheshire army 
to aid the Lancastrian Roundheads in clearing the county of the 
enemy. At the same time, also, " Colonell Dodding in his return from 
York Battell, quartering some while in Blackbume Hundred recruiting 
his Forces and furnishing them with Cullers and other necessaries, hear- 
ing that Sir John was come up to Preston, came up to him with his 
Regiment that night." Meldrum thus found himself in command of a 
force of four or five thousand men, with which he gave active pursuit to 
the elusive Royalists. 

August 19th, 1644, Sir John Meldrum re-entered Preston, having 
expelled the enemy from the Fylde country. On the 20th of August, 
he moved southward to pursue the enemy retreating through North 
Meols and the westerly townships of West Derby Hundred, with the 

I Pt. iii, p. ; 

2 Disc, of Warr, pp. 55-6. 


object of gaining Liverpool. Sir John had previously despatched Bed- 
ding's regiment to besiege Greenough Castle. Liverpool was surren- 
dered by the Royalist garrison on Friday, November ist, 1644. 

By an Ordinance of the 29th of August, 1644, the two Houses of 
Parliament had appointed a Committee for Lancashire, for the seques- 
tration of the estates of " Malignants" (as the Royalists were termed) ; 
for the assessment of the tax called the "Soldier's Ley" upon the county ; 
and the reduction of the forces. The committee were to hold general 
monthly meetings at Preston. One instruction to this committee was 
that no person unfit in the judgment of seven or more of the committee 
" to be intrusted with arms, should reside or dwell within any of the 
towns of Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, Lancaster, Clitheroe, or 
Preston," and every able-bodied inhabitant of these places was to be 
required to bear arms, or to provide a substitute. Among the twenty- 
eight members of this Lancashire Committee of Assessment are found 
the following representatives of local families : — Sir Ralph Ashton, Bart. ; 
Richard Hoghton, Esq.; Richard Shuttleworth, Esq.; John Starkey, 
Esq.; Richard Ashton, Esq.; Nicholas Cunliffe, gent. ; and Robert 
Cunliffe, gent.' 

The famine of food and general distress in those parts of Lanca- 
shire which had been the scene of Rupert's ravages and the military 
operations of that memorable summer of 1644 had been so extreme, 
that on the nth of September the matter was brought before Parliament, 
and the subjoined Order was passed by the House of Commons : — 

Whereas there hath been such Spoil, Rapine, and unheard-of Cruelties, lately 
committed by the Enemy within the County of Lancaster, insomuch that in some 
parts the people have hardly anything left them to cover their Nakedness, or their 
Children Bread to eat ; which extreme Misery being represented unto thj Commons 
assembled in Parliament : It is Ordered, That upon the Twelfth Day of this Instant 
September, being appointed for a solemn Fast, the One-half of the public Collection 
to be made in all the Churches within the Cities of London, Westminster, and within 
the lines of Communication, shall be employed for the Relief of those poor distressed 
People within the said County of Lancaster ; and the Money so gathered, being certi- 
fied under the Hands of the Ministers and Churchwardens of every Church, to be 
upon Tuesday following, being the Seventeenth Day of this Instant Month, paid unto 
Mr. Herle and Mr. Case, Ministers, Members of the Assembly of Divines, at the 
Deane's House at Westminster : Which Money is by them forthwith to be conveyed 
and paid unto Mr. John Hartley of Manchester, and by him to be disbursed, accord- 
ing to such Directions as he shall receive under the Hands of Mr. Herrick Warden of 
Manchester, Mr. Harper Minister of Boulton, Mr. Ward Minister of Warrington, 
Mr. Lathom Minister of Douglasse, Mr. Ambrose Minister of Preston, Mr. Shaw 
Minister of Aldinham, and Mr. Hipworth Minister of Whaley [Whalley], or any 
Four of them ; who have hereby authority to dispose and distribute the same ; the 
several distributions being first seen and allowed by Three or more of the Deputy 
Lieutenants of the same County.^ 

I Journals of H. of Commons. 2 lb. 


1 54 


During the winter Greenough Castle, by Garstang, was won for the 
Parliament by the besieging force, mostly of Blackbumshire men, under 
Colonel Dodding. This Castle, owned, as formerly stated, by the 
Earl of Derby, was totally demolished. Lathom House, the last refuge 
of broken Royalism in Lancashire, was surrendered December 2nd, 
1645, after a second siege or blockade of sixteen months. Within three 
years of the commencement of the conflict of the hostile parties in 
Lancashire, not a solitary Royalist soldier remained in arms in any part 
of the county. The men of Blackburn and Salford Hundreds, with the 
minority of Puritan confederates in Amoundemess and from Liverpool, 
had proved more than a taatch for the Royalists of the four western 
Hundreds of Lancashire, joined by not a few friends of the King out 
of East Lancashire, and led though they were by the most powerful 
nobles and gentry in this province of the Kingdom. The result of the 
strife was singular, and is but partially accounted for by the drain of 
Lancashire loyalists to reinforce the King's chief armies, fighting in dis- 
tant parts of the country. It was, however, a miserable and disastrous 
contest to all involved, and hardly less to the adherents of the victorious, 
than to those of the defeated, cause. 

At the commencement of the year 1646, the Royalist interest in 
Lancashire had been crushed out of existence ; and by midsummer of 
that year, the victory of the Parliament all over the country was so com- 
plete that it was confessed that "the Kinge hath no armye in the field to 
the number of 1 00 men, nor any one garrison unbesieged. '" King Charles, 
feeling the game was lost, had surrendered himself to the Scottish Army 
at Newark, in May, 1646, and on the loth of June the captive monarch 
issued his warrant to those few supporters who still held fortified places 
(Sir Thomas Tyldesley was one), to evacuate them and to disband their 

The Lancashire Committee of Sequestration were very active in 
their proceedings about this time. It was not the great landowners 
alone who were subjected to their penalties. The smaller gentry and 
yeomen who had taken the losing side were fined in proportion to their 
means. It was generally found convenient by the sequestrators to allow 
the " delinquent " parties to compound for their estates by the payment 
of an assessed sum in money. The gentry of the district driven to 
compound at this time were : — Roger Nowell of Read, Esq., who paid 
^jf 736 4s. 6d. as the price of his retention of his estates ; John South- 
worth of Samlesbury, Esq., paid ;^3S8 i8s. gd. ; Sir John Talbot of 
Salesbury, Knt., paid ^^444 ; Edward Walmesley of Banister Hall, 
gent., ^114 ; William Winckley of Billington, gent, ^26 ; William 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 214. 



Farrington of Worden, senior, Esq., £536 ; William Farrington, junior, 
gent, £117. 

In the autumn of 1646, the experiment was made of the establish- 
ment of a Presbyterian form of church discipline as the legalised 
ecclesiastical system in Lancashire. Presbyterian Classes were appointed 
for each Hundred and all the churches were furnished with ministers 
approved by the Lancashire Presbytery, and supported by stipends 
supplied out of the funds of the County Sequestration Committee in 
cases where there was no sufficient endowment attached to the benefice. 
The Classis of Blackburn Hundred was constituted of the following 
ministers and laymen : — 

The Ministers fit to be of the Third Classis.— Mr. Adam Boulton 
of Blackburne ; Mr. Robert Worthington of Harwood ; Mr. Richard Redman of Low 
Church; Mr. William Walker of Whaley ; Mr. Henry Morrice of Bumeley; Mr. 
John Briars of Padiham ; Mr. Wm. Ingham of Church ; Mr. John King of Chipping. 

Others fit to be of the Third Ci.assis. — Sir Ralph Ashton, Baronet ; 
Richard Shuttleworth, senior, Esquire ; John Parker, Esquire ; Richard Ashton of 
Downham, Esquire ; John Livesay of Livesay, gentleman ; Thomas Barcroft of Bar- 
croft, gentleman; Nicholas Cunliffe of Wycollar, gentleman; John Cunliffe of Hollins, 
gentleman ; Robert Cunliffe of Sparth, gentleman ; Nicholas Rishton of Anteley, 
gentleman ; Roger Gellibom of Beardwood, gentleman ; William Yates of Blackburne 
gentleman ; John Howorth of Clayton, gentleman ; Thomas Whalley of Rishton, 
gentleman ; Charles Gregory of Haslinden, gentleman. ' 

The ordinance of Parliament creating the Lancashire Provincial 
Presbytery of nine classes is dated Oct. 2nd, 1646; and on the 17th 
of November following, the Assembly met for the first time at Preston 
and framed a declaration of polity, published under the title of " The 
Deliberate Resolution of the Ministers of the Gospel within the County 
Palatine of Lancaster, with their grounds and cautions according to 
which they put into execution the Presbyteriall Government upon the 
present Ordinances of Parliament."'^ During its existence, the Provincial 
Assembly held twenty-two half-yearly meetings, usually at Preston ; one 
meeting only was held at Blackburn. The functions of the Lancashire 
Presbytery were spontaneously suspended in 1659. 

The year 1647 ^^'^s passed in tranquillity in Lancashire, and 
throughout England. At the close of the year, it was resolved to effect 
large reductions in the standing army, the support of which had severely 
taxed the resources of Parliament. Accordingly, on the 23rd December, 
1647, the House of Commons appointed a Committee to go down to 
the army in the various counties, to disband the supernumeraries, pay the 
troops, and take off free quarter. The gentlemen sent down into 
Lancashire upon this duty were Colonel Assheton, Mr. Fell, Mr. Peter 
Brook, and Mr. Shuttleworth, junior. 

1 Journals of H. of Commons. 2 London : Printed for Luke Fawne, 1647. 



But this interval of calm was the prelude of another stormy out- 
burst of strife. King Charles was in the hands of his enemies, but 
among his friends in England and Scotland was cherished a determina- 
.tion to put forth another effort to restore the fallen sovereignty. A plan 
for the invasion of England was matured by the Stuart party in the 
North, whilst, in concert with the projectors of that design, Sir 
Marmaduke Langdale was employed to collect the fragments of the 
Royalist forces in the northern English counties. In the Spring of 
1648 the army raised by the Duke of Hamilton among the Scottish 
nobility had grown to such proportions, that the prospect of an advance 
southward of the Duke and Langdale began to create uneasiness in 
Parliamentarian quarters, particularly among the Roundheads in Lanca- 
shire, who were likely to bear the brunt of the new attack. By the 
middle of May, rumours of the coming forward of the Royalist Scottish 
army had become so positive that the House of Commons ordered 
Colonel Assheton and other officers to repair to Lancashire to employ 
means for the safety of the county. The mandate was promptly put 
into execution by Colonel Assheton and his colleagues. There yet 
remained embodied in Lancashire a force of several regiments, which 
formed a nucleus for the Lancashire army Colonel (now Major-General) 
Assheton was engaged to muster for the defence of the Parliamentarian 
interest there. 

Sir Ralph Assheton called up with speed the militia of Lancashire, 
which had fought under him in former campaigns. June 12th, it was 
reported that "The Committee of Lancashire have ordered four colonels 
of foot and two of horse, with their regiments, now in readiness in the 
northern part of this county, forthwith to join with Major-General 
Lambert's forces in Yorkshire against the enemy in Westmoreland and 
Cumberland ;" that " Colonel Ashton is Commander-in-chief, and under 
him Lt.-Col. Rigby commandeth one regiment of horse, and Colonel 
Nicholas Shuttleworth the other ; the colonels are Col. Dodding, Col. 
Standish, commandeth his own and Lt.-Col. Rigby's foot, Col. Ashton 
[Assheton of Downham], and Col. Oughtred Shuttleworth.'" 

After some bootless delay on the Border, Duke Hamilton at last 
moved onward into England in the last days of July, 1648. " Some 
of his army was in the North about Appleby and those parts a good 
space. And Colonell Lambert with the forces of Yorkshire and Lanca- 
shire for the Parliament had some little bout with them, but not being 
able to withstand them, they retreated downe into Yorkshire, there 
expecting and looking for Generall Cromwell with his Forces to come 
in to them to make head to resist the Duke. About the latter end 

1 C. W. Tracts, p. 252. 


of July the Duke's Army was moving towards this country, and by the 
beginning of August was entered it.'" 

To General Cromwell it was that not only the advanced guard of 
Lancashire and Yorkshire, but the country, looked for the discomfiture 
of the combination of Hamilton's Presbyterians, and Langdale's 
Prelatists and Roman Catholics, for the re-imposition of the Stuart 
dynasty. Cromwell had some time been employed in military operations 
terminating in the tedious Siege of Pembroke. It was thought Crom- 
well would be compelled to raise that siege, by the more serious 
distractions demanding his presence in the North. But he persisted in 
the investment, closely calculating the time when the Welsh business 
must close, and the campaign against Hamilton must open. On the 
nth of July, Pembroke capitulated ; and Cromwell, released from that 
duty, marched swiftly into England, in the direction of Yorkshire. His 
route lay through Gloucester, Leicester and Nottingham ; and by the 
27th of July, his horse regiments had effected the junction with Lambert 
at Barnard Castle. Cromwell himself, at the head of his foot regiments, 
did not join until about the 9th of August, when the combination was 
effected at Wetherby. Thence the united army, under Cromwell's 
command, marched to Knaresborough, and was at the latter town on the 
nth of August. The design was then to enter Lancashire, which 
Cromwell hoped to reach in time to intercept the invading army in its 
passage through the county. 

Hamilton, less regardful of the importance of time, both to himself 
and the enemy, was more leisurely in his movements than Cromwell. 
It took him nearly a fortnight to reach Preston after his entrance into 
Lancashire at Burton-in-Kendal and Kirkby-Lonsdale. From Hornby 
the Duke marched to Lancaster, which he did not stay to invest, and 
lodged one night at Ashton Hall ; thence, with his vanguard, " his 
Artillery and three Carriages, came to Preston on the 14th or 15th of 


Throughout the long conflict between Monarch and Parliament, no 
more signal military transaction took place than the Battle at Preston 
and Walton, between Cromwell and Duke Hamilton, in August, 1648. 
Not Marston Moor battle, the turning point in the contest, when for the 
first time the star of Cromwell rose in the ascendant, and that of Rupert 
suffered occultation ; nor Naseby, the expiring effort of the English 
Cavaliers to save the cause of Charles ; nor Worcester, where the heir 
of the then beheaded King drank to the dregs the bitter cup of defeat 
that had been ordained for the Stuarts in these wars ; was regarded at 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 64. 2 lb., p. 65. 



the time, by either section of a divided nation, as of more supreme 
consequence than the collision of the opposing forces on the banks 
of the Ribble and Darwen. The particularity with which the brief 
campaign, which began and was determined by this battle, was dwelt 
upon by those engaged in it ; the lengthy despatches of the victor, 
Cromwell ; the vindicatory narrative of Langdale, the English general 
on the vanquished side ; the proceedings in Parliament on the announce- 
ment of the battle and its results; and the private histories of the event 
by subordinate participants in the battle, all serve to betoken the 
contemporary estimate of the magnitude of the issue here decided. 
Measured, too, by the material gains to the conquerors, and by the 
losses of life and liberty by the defeated, this battle gives place to none 
fought in that war, nor, indeed, to any waged on English ground before 
or since. 

On Wednesday night, August i6th, 1648, the last of Duke Hamil- 
ton's troops had arrived in the neighbourhood of Preston. The Duke's 
army numbered in all about 12,000 foot and 5,000 horse; a total of 
some 1 7,000 men. But this considerable army was very much scattered 
and disotdered, On the morning of the 1 7th August, a large portion of 
Hamilton's vanguard of cavalry was as far ahead as Wigan. Of his 
infantry, some thousands were across the Ribble, and posted in the 
village of Walton and on the rising ground beyond Darwen Bridge. 
Other regiments were on the Preston side of Ribble Bridge and in the 
town of Preston ; while a body of the Scottish horse was out foraging 
in the Fylde. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, with the English contingent, 
comprising some 3,000 foot and 600 horse, had just reached his quarters 
on the Ribbleton side of Preston, on the termination of his march out 
of Craven. The Royalist army was therefore spread over about twenty 
or more miles of country, from north to south, and was utterly unready 
for an attack upon any part of its extended line. Moreover, between 
the Scots of Hamilton and the English of Langdale there existed 
religious and political differences that rendered concerted action very 
doubtful. Even had it been probable that Cromwell's attack would 
come either from the north or the south, the position of Hamilton's 
army was one of extreme weakness ; though had the blow been struck 
either upon the heads of the Duke's columns at Wigan, or upon his 
rear behind Preston, the assailed regiments might have retreated upon 
the main body. But it was a necessity of the case that if Cromwell 
attacked at all, at this stage in the invader's advance, it must be upon 
his left flank, and consequently that any troops lying apart from the 
main body would be entirely out of the fight. Only the conviction on 
the part of Duke Hamilton and his council of war that Cromwell was 


not strong enough to attack, or could not come up in time to confront 
the Duke on the Ribble, could explain, much less justify, the careless 
disposition of the Scottish forces. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, indeed, 
had his English regiments well in hand, and having come to Preston by 
the same road that the enemy might be expected, his troops were 
posted precisely where they would be wanted in the event of a sudden 
flank attack. Langdale's position was at the edge of Ribbleton Moor, 
a short distance east of the town of Preston. He knew that an hostile 
force was within three miles of him ; and he communicated the fact to 
Duke Hamilton, but the Duke could not credit that Cromwell was so 
near, and supposing that the enemy was merely a small force of Lanca- 
shire militia hovering on his flank, he made no preparation to meet a 
formidable onslaught. 

Lieut. -General Cromwell, meanwhile, had got across the frontier 
passes into East Lancashire with great celerity. On the 13th of August 
he was at Otley, in Wharfedale ; on the 14th he entered Skipton ; on 
the I sth had reached the verge of Yorkshire, at Gisbum ; and on the 
1 6th, having marched from Gisbum to Clitheroe, through Rimington 
and Chatbum, and from Clitheroe over Edisford Bridge to Mitton, he 
had arrived towards evening at the old bridge over the Hodder, the 
ruins of which still remain, a few yards below the modem bridge. Here 
Cromwell halted, and held a council with his officers, to consider if they 
should tum to the left, taking the road to Whalley, and by that route 
march to Blackburn and Bolton, and so strike the enemy somewhere in 
South Lancashire or in Cheshire ; or should cross the Hodder, and, 
following the right bank of the Ribble to Preston, try to catch the enemy 
before he had quitted his quarters there and force him to a general 
action. In favour of the latter move it could be urged that it was more 
likely to permit of the suqirise of an unguarded adversary. Fortunately 
for the issue, Cromwell resolved to cross the bridge, and by a forced 
march to reach and beard the foe upon the Ribble. The Roundhead 
army encamped that night in the fields about Stonyhurst. At daybreak 
next morning it began the march of nine miles to Preston, the des- 
tined battle-ground. The weather was wet, and the roads and fields 
very heavy for marching of foot or horse. But after a toilsome march 
by Hurst Green and Longridge, the Roundhead vanguard came in view 
of the foe late in the afternoon, between Longridge and Ribbleton. 
Cromwell's amiy was but small, not more than 8,500 men, including a 
portion of the Lancashire regiments that had joined him near Clitheroe. 
The odds against him were nearly three to one, for the united forces 
of Hamilton and Langdale were variously reckoned at from 22,000 to 
24,000 men. The day too was fast waning, and Hot more than four or 



five hours of daylight were left for a fight that seemed likely to be 
stubborn. Nevertheless, Cromwell gave orders for an immediate attack. 
The decision, though apparently rash, was really wise — the intuition 
of a consummate general. Cromwell divined that the enemy's force 
was squandered beyond all chance of concentration, should the attack 
be at once delivered ; whereas by a few hours of delay some thousands 
of outlying troops might have been called in by Hamilton to aid him in 
withstanding the onset of the Parliamentarian general. Cromwell's 
army, though overmatched in numbers, was highly disciplined and con- 
fident in itself and its invincible general. 

The battle commenced by an attack with foot and horse upon Sir 
Marmaduke Langdale's force, " drawn out," says Cromwell, " upon a 
moor betwixt us and the Town." Langdale's Englishmen fought very 
stoutly, and although the assailants were very superior in strength at the 
point struck, it took from three to four hours to dislodge the Royalists, 
and to force the entrance to the town. Langdale, finding himself 
worsted, judiciously moved his troops little by little to his right, in the 
direction of Ribble Bridge at Walton, to bring him in closer communi- 
cation with Hamilton's army, the major portion of which remained in 
its quarters at Walton, and on both banks of the Ribble. Eventually, a 
remnant of Langdale and Hamilton's troops was driven into, and 
through, the streets of Preston, by four troops of Cromwell's own horse- 
regiment, and completely detached from the main army. The rest 
of Langdale's men debouched upon the Bridge at Walton, and in 
conjunction with some Scots there posted, stiffly maintained the bridge 
against the advance of Cromwell's regiments, of which the Lancashire 
contingent here came to the front of the action. At last, the Lancashire 
Roundheads stormed the bridge, and pursued the beaten enemy through 
the village of Walton to Darvven Bridge. At this second bridge another 
fierce conflict took place ; but again the Royalists had to yield ; the 
troops of Cromwell carried the bridge over the Darwen, and occupied 
the cluster of houses that stood near it. When darkness set in, Crom- 
well was in possession of the town of Preston ; of the ground on both 
banks of the Ribble ; of Ribble Bridge, Walton village, and Darwen 
Bridge. Those regiments of the Royalist horse cut off from the main 
army, and driven out of Preston on the north side, were hotly pursued 
ten miles on the road to Lancaster, and many hundreds of the men and 
horses captured. 

The battle-ground traverses several miles of country ; commencing 
upon a stretch of boggy waste known as Ribbleton Moor, having a slight 
descent towards Preston burgh ; on the west skirt of the moor were 
the enclosed lands of Fishwick and the crofts and gardens of the eastern 


suburb of Preston. Where Ribbleton Lane ended in its junction with 
the main street of the town, the road to Wigan and the South branched 
to the left in the direction of the Ribble Bridge at Walton ; and on the 
east side of this road the plateau of Fishwick terminates in a bluff, des- 
cending to the low level holme expanding here on the north side 
of the river. West of the Walton road, the Swillbrook ran at the bottom 
of a dingle between Frenchwood and Preston, that deepens until the 
brook reaches the Ribble below Avenham. A tradition exists, recorded 
by Patten, writing in 1716, that in the hollow, where a way from the 
town to Walton Bridge crossed the brook, Cromwell, when riding between 
these points on the right wing of his army, was put in great peril of his 
life by the sinking of his horse's feet in a quagmire, while the steep 
ground in front was lined by the enemy's firemen or pikemen, and barely 
saved himself by hastily dismounting. The old road made a quicker 
descent near the bridge over Ribble than the modern road ; and when 
once the musketeers of Cromwell had been suffered to occupy the high 
banks flanking the road, the position of the Scots defending the bridge 
could not long have been tenable. Forced to yield the bridge at length, 
the Royalist foot fell into confusion, and in the contracted space were 
unable to make another stand until the bridge over Darwen, a quarter of 
a mile distant, was gained. Boldly advancing, Cromwell's disciplined 
troops pushed the enemy through the village, and carried Darwen 
Bridge ; after which, any bodies of Scots that had missed the second 
bridge in the melee, or straggled upon Walton Flats, or been driven 
along Darwen bank on the church side, would be cut off from 
Hamilton's main body, and reduced to surrender at discretion. The 
nature of the position of Walton village, all but surrounded by two 
rivers too deep to ford in rainy seasons, renders it probable that the 
greater part of the thousands of prisoners taken in the battle were 
secured in the ad de sac between the two bridges, by the Lancashire 
regiments of Cromwell, that, perfectly knowing the ground, first joined 
in the victorious rush to seize Danven Bridge, and then surrounded and 
made prisoners in batches the scattered detachments of the beaten 

The losses of the day on the part of the defeated armies of 
Hamilton and Langdale were about a thousand killed, an indefinite 
number wounded, and full four thousand taken prisoners. The victors, 
according to the despatches of Cromwell, which have not been impugned, 
had remarkably small losses in killed, but a considerable number 
wounded and disabled. 

The wreck of Langdale's forces, united with the confused massts 
of Hamilton's troops, retired at nightfall to the eminence a little beyond 


the Danven Bridge to the south, on the east side of the road to Wigan, 
between Walton and Bamber Bridge, and there made their bivouac. 
During the night Hamilton's council of war decided that the only course 
was to march on into South Lancashire ; a suicidal decision, but 
Cromwell had barred every avenue of retreat towards Scotland, and left 
his antagonist no alternative but a withdrawal further into the interior of 
what was now a hostile country. Long before morning the Scottish 
army had resumed the retreat in the direction of Wigan, leaving all its 
artillery and baggage on the hill at Walton, to fall into the hands of 
Cromwell, who ordered the pursuit immediately upon the flight of the 
enemy becoming known at the Parliamentarian head-quarters.^ 

The narrative of this battle by the Roundhead officer who wrote the 
Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire is very interesting and useful. He 
relates that Cromwell's army encamped in the Park at Stonyhurst the 
night before the battle, after a council of war at which "it was concluded 
to fight the Duke if he aboad ; " and the morning after " followed 
in the rear of Sir Marmaduke Langden's army, who came out of the 
north by Setle towne and so into Blackburn Hundred, and through Rib- 
chester and downward to Preston ; but some of them staying about the 
upper syd of Fulwood and Ribbleton, lodged there that night." The 
account proceeds : — 

Generall Cromwell made no stay, but in the morning marched towards Preston 
after them, and when he was come as far as Ribbleton Mill, there he found them. 
He set upon tltem very fearsly, beating them up all along the way to Preston (being 
three miles). Many were killed, some being trodden into the dirt in the Lanes, with 
the horses' feet, the wayes were soe deep [in mire]. Abundance were killed in the 
feildes on the East syd of Preston, and so did drive them doune towards Ribble Bridge. 
The Duke with his forces and carriages being passed over before, having Barricaded 
up the bridge, stood at resistance. It was reported that when word came to the Duke 
that Qenerall Cromwell was in the rear of Sir Marmaduke Langden's Army fighting 
and killing them, his answer was, " Let them alone, — the English dogs are but killing 
one another." So little regard had he of them. At the Bridge they had a great Dis- 
pute for a long time, but at last Cromwell's Army did beat them off and they fled over 

I It may occur to readers not familiar with the locality that the story of this memorable battle, 
known in history as the Battle of Preston, hardly comes within the range of any parish history except 
that of Preston. But when it is explained that the westerly extremity of Blackburn Parish forms the 
south bank of the Ribble fronting Preston as far down as the lower railway viaduct ; that the second 
and possibly the severest stage of the battle, in which the Scots army joined issue with the Lancashire 
forces, began on Ribble Bridge and rolled on through Walton village in Blackburn Parish to Darwen 
Bridge ; that both armies lay the night after the battle in Walton township: that Cromwell probably 
wrote his first despatch from a Walton hostelry, where he spent a part of the night : and that the retreat 
and pursuit next day began in the Parish ; it will be seen that the battle belongs as much to the history 
of Blackburn Parish as to that of Preston. Add to these circumstances, as further justifying extended 
reference to the battle in these pages, that the Lancashire troops that fought so well on the conquering 
side had been chiefly raised in Blackburn and Salford Hundreds, and marched from their posts in 
North- East Lancashire to the fight : and that the one natural object on the battle-field associated with the 
conflict in Milton's martial-toned Sonnet to Cromwell is the river Darwen, — " Darwen stream with 
blood of Scots imbrued," — a stream that both rises and debouches within Blackburn parish boundaries. 


Darwen Bridge and soe up that hill above Walton Toune. In the feilde upon the 
east of the way they maid Cabbins and lodged there that night. [This sentence 
exactly indicates the spot where the defeated army lay on the night after the battle.] 
Where the Duke quartered I hard not. So night comming the Armies guarded 
both Bridges ; and Generall Cromwell returned to Preston and there quartered, giving 
orders to our Lancashire forces there to abide. . . Providence so ordered that 
Generall Cromwell fell upon the Scotch army in the very flank thereof, for (as we said 
before) the Duke, with the Infantrie, traine of Artillery and Carriages, came all to 
Preston at once, with Langden's [Langdale's] forces, and upon these it was that the 
Generall fell and defeated them. Now the great bodie of the Duke's Cavalrie and 
Horse was a dales march behind him, and coming up when the Battel was at hand, 
the Generall when he had well beaten them up gave Orders that a strong bodie of his 
Horse should fall down to the lower side of Fulwood More near the way betwixt, Gar- 
stang and Preston, to hinder, if possible, the Reare of the Duke's Army for comming 
up ; upon the sight of those horse and hearing of the Musketts and Defeat given to 
the Duke his Reare durst not come out. Great number of them turned not back by 
the same way. They came, but tooke other waies and fled downward into the Fyld 
Country and in great feare, as was thought, parted themselves into sundry roads or 
waies. The Duke's Artillery and Carriages were all taken, standing upon Walton 
Coppe. What number there was of them I never hard. ' 

This writer gives an unfavourable account of the behaviour of 
Hamilton's army and the depraved female camp-followers while about 
Preston : — 

The cariag of Duke Hamilton's Army in their march was very evill, for they 
plundered extreamly ; yea, abundance of sutty vagabound women' that followed the 
Duke's camp vexed the pore country sore ; yet in their retreat without doubt it was 
well paied home into their bosoms, many getting by them, though against their wills. 
The better sort of them were well stored with money, and when they saw themselves 
defeated and that there was noe way for them to escape but to be taken prisoners, some 
hid their money in the fields about Preston, and have, since the times were more quiet, 
come and found their owne money, and enjoyed it. And it was thought that Preston 
and the townes about it lost not, but gained much by their flight.^ 

The next document is the vindicatory letter of Sir Marmaduke 
Langdale, the English Royalist general. The copy is from the Fairfax 
Correspondence^ : — 

Sir,— This will give you a final account of my employment, which is now ended, 
being a prisoner in Nottingham Castle, where I have civil usjge. You have heard the 
condition I was in at Settle and Gigleswick, with about 3,000 foot and 600 horse, the 
13th of August, where, hearing the Parliament forces were gathered together, and 
marching towards me, I went to acquaint Duke Hamilton therewith to Hornby, when 
he determined to march to Preston, where his army being numerous in foot, he might 
have the greatest advantage upon his enemy in these inclosed countries. I marched 
neare Clitherow, towards Preston ; in the march I met with the Lord Calender, and 
divers of the Scottish officers quartered in my way, with whom it was resolved to march 
to Preston ; but for the present the Intelligence was, that the Parliament Forces were 
divided, some part whereof were marched to Colne, and so to Manchester, to relieve 
I Disc, of Warr, pp. 65-7. 2 lb. p. 68. 3 Ed. by Bell, v. ii, pp. 60-2. 


that Towne in case we should press upon it ; this made the Officers of Horse more 
negligent in repairing to Preston, but quartering wide in the country. The same night 
certain intelligence came that Lieutenant-General Cromwell, with all his Forces, was 
within three miles of my quarters, which I immediately sent to the Duke, and told my 
Lord Leviston to acquaint Lieutenant-General Middleton therewith, and drew my 
forces together in a field, and so marched towards Preston betimes in the morning, 
where I found the Duke and Lord Calender with the most part of the Scottish foot 
drawn up. Their resolution was to march to Wigan, giving little credit to the Intelli- 
gence that came the night before ; but suffered their horse to continue in their quarters 
ten or twelve miles off. Within halfe an hour of our meeting, and by that time I was 
drawn into the closes near Preston, the Enemy appeared with a small body of horse ; 
the Scots continued their resolution for Wigan, for which end they drew their Foot over 
the Bridge [Kibble Bridge at Walton]. The enemy coming the same way that I had 
marched, fell upon my Quarters, where we continued skirmishing six hours, in all 
which time the Scots sent me no relief ; they had very few horse come up, so as those 
they sent me at last were but few, which were soon beaten ; but if they had sent me 
l,ooo Foot to have flanked the Enemy, I doubt not the day had been ours. Yet I 
kept my post with various success, many times gaining ground of the Enemy ; and as 
the Scots acknowledge, they never saw any Foot fight better than mine did. The 
Duke being incredulous that it was their whole army, sent Sir Lewis Dives to me to 
whom I answered that it was impossible any forces that were inconsiderable would ad- 
venture to press upon so great an Army as we had, therefore he might conclude it was 
all the power they could make, with which they were resolved to put all to the hazard, 
therefore desired that I might be seconded, and have more powder and ammunition, I 
having spent nine Barrels of powder. The Scots continued their march over the river, 
and did scour a lane near the Bridge, whereby the Parliament Forces came upon my 
flank ; neither did the forces that were left for my supply come to my relief, but 
continued in the rear of mine, nor did they ever face the Enemy, but in bringing up 
the Rear. When most part of the Scots were drawn over the Bridge, the Parliament 
Forces pressed hard upon me in the Van and Flanks, and so drove me into the Town, 
where the Duke was in person, with some few horse ; but all being lost [the Duke] 
retreated over a ford to his Foot. After my forces were beaten, the Parliament 
Forces beat the Scots from the Bridge presently, and so came over into all the Lanes 
that we could not join with the Foot, but were forced to Charlow [Chorley], where 
we found Lt. -General Middleton ready to advance towards Preston to the Foot, 
which he did, but not finding them there, retreated towards Wigan, where the Duke 
was with his Foot ; mine totally lost ; there they took a resolution to go to my Lord 
Byron, for which end they would march that night to Warrington, &c. 

Sir James Turner, a Scotch Royalist in Duke Hamilton's army, sup- 
plies particulars of the fighting between Ribble Bridge and the eminence 
beyond Darwen Bridge in Walton, not found elsewhere : — 

Beside Preston in Lancashire Cromwell falls on Sir Marmaduke's ■ flank. The 
English [under Langdale] imagined it was one Colynel Ashton, a powerful Presbyte- 
rian, who had got together 3,000 [Lancashire] men to oppose us, because we came out 
of Scotland without the General Assembly's permission. Mark the quarrel. While 
Sir Marmaduke disputes the matter, Baillie, by the Duke's order, marches to Ribble 
Bridge, and passes it with all the foot except two brigades. This was two miles from 
Preston. By my Lord Duke's Command, I had sent some ammunition and com- 


manded men to Sir Marmaduke's assistance ; but to no purpose ; for Cromwell pre- 
vailed, — so tliat our English first retired, and then fled. It must be remembered that, 
the night before this sad encounter, Earl Calendar and Middleton were gone to Wigan, 
eight [seventeen] miles from thence, with a considerable part of the cavalry. Calendar 
was come back, and was with the Duke, and so was I ; but upon the rout of Sir Mar- 
maduke's people Calendar got away to the Ribble, where he arrived safely by a miracle, 
•as I think ; for the Enemy was between the Bridge and us, and had killed or taken 
most part of our two brigades of foot. The Duke with his guard of horse. Sir Mar- 
maduke with many oflScers, among others myself, got into Preston town, with intention 
to pass a ford below it, though at that time not rideable. At the entry of the Town, 
the enemy pursued us hard. The Duke faced about, and put two troops of them to a 
retreat ; but so soon as we turned from them, they again turned upon us. The Duke 
facing the second time, charged them, which succeeded well. Being pursued the third 
time, my Lord Duke cried : — " To charge once more for King Charles !" One trooper 
refusing, he beat him with his sword. At that charge we put the enemy so far behind 
us that he could not so soon overtake us again. Then Sir Marmaduke and I entreated 
the Duke to hasten to his army : and truly here he showed as much personal valour as 
.iny man could be capable of. We swam the Kiver Ribble ; and so got to the place. 
Lieutenant-General Baillie had advantageously lodged the foot, on the top of a Hill, 
among very fencible enclosures. After Calendar came to the infantry he had sent 600 
musketeers to defend Ribble Bridge. Very unadvisedly ; for the way Cromwell had 
to it was a descent from a hill that commanded all the champaign ; which was about 
an English quarter of a mile in length between the Bridge and that Hill where our 
foot were lodged. So that our musketeers, having no shelter, were forced to receive 
all the musket-shot of Cromwell's infantry, which was secure within thick hedges ; and 
after the loss of many men, were forced to run back on our foot. Here Claud Hamil- 
ton, the Duke's Lieutenant-Colonel, had his arm broke with a musket bullet. The 
Bridge of Ribble being lost, the Duke called all the colonels on horseback together to 
advise what was next to be done. We hatl no choice but one of two : either stay, and 
maintain our ground till Middleton {who was sent for) came back with his cavalry : or 
else march away that night, and find him out. Calendar would needs speak first ; 
whereas by the custom of war he should have told his opinion last, — and it was. To 
march away that night so soon as it was dark. This was seconded by all the rest, ex- 
cept by Lieutenant-General Baillie and myself. But all the arguments we used, — as, 
the impossibility of a safe retreat from an enemy so powerful of horse ; in so very foul 
weather, and extremely deep ways ; our soldiers exceedingly wet, weary, and hungry ; 
the inevitable loss of all our ammunition, — could not move my Lord Duke by his 
authority to contradict the shameful resolution taken by the major part of his ofScers. 
After that dramless march was resolved upon, and but few horse appointed to stay in 
rear of the foot, I inquired. What should become of our unfortunate ammunition, since 
forward with us we could not get it ? It was not thought fit to blow it up that night, 
lest thereby the Enemy should know of our retreat, or rather flight. I was of that 
opinion too ; but for another reason ; for we could not have blown it up then without 
a visible mischief to ourselves, being so near it. It was ordered it should be done three 
hours after our departure, by a train : but that being neglected, Cromwell got it all. 
Next morning we appeared at Wigan Moor ; half our number less than we were ; — 
most of the faint and weary soldiers having lagged behind, whi)m we never saw again. ' 

The confusion and dismay that pervaded the Royalist camp on 

Memoirs of his own Life and Times, pp. 63 et seq. 



" Walton Coppe " the night following the battle is nowhere so fully 
exposed as in this letter of the Stuart partizan. The abandonment to 
the enemy of the ammunition of Hamilton's army, which the Royalists 
could not remove and dare not blow up for fear of the enemy, illustrates 
the egregious mismanagement that marked the campaign on the Scottish 
side. Captain Hodgson, a Yorkshire officer in Cromwell's army, well 
sets forth the part sustained in the battle by the Lancashire troops .• — 

I met Major-General Lambert, and coming to him I told him where his danger 
lay, on his left wing, chiefly. He ordered me to fetch tip the Lancashire Regiment, 
and God brought me off, both horse and myself. The bullets flew freely ; then was 
the heat of the battle that day. I came down to the muir, where I met with Major 
Jackson, that belonged to Ashton's Regiment, arid about three hundred men were come 
up ; and I ordered hnn to march, but he said he woukl not till his men were come up. 
A sergeant belonging to them asked me where they should march. I shewed him the 
party he was to fight, and he like a true-bred Englishman marched, and I caused the 
soldiers to follow him, which presently fell upon the enemy ; aixl losing that wing the 
whole army gave ground and fled . , The Lancashire men were as stout men as were 
in the world, and as brave firemen. I have often told them they were as good fighters, 
and as great plunderers, as ever went to a field . '. Col. Bright's regiment. Col. Pride's, 
and Col. Deane's kept the field ; the Lancashire Regiments and my Lord Cromwell's 
Regiment of foot passed towards Ribbald [Ribble] Bridge, with most of our horse, 
where the Scots had six regiments of horse and foot, that had been in no service [i.e., 
that had not yet been engaged], besides their great army, with their waggons, near 
Walton Hall, drawn up in readiness. There was a long dispute before the Bridge was 
gained, and our horse and foot having routed that party, above Walton Hall they came 
to their main body, and a matter of six or eight horsemen, commanded by Captain 
Pockley, kept a gapstead of their whole army, while some of our troopers lighted, and 
turned about Hamilton's waggons, and threw over that wherein was all his plate, as. 
they brought it down the hill ; but the Scots having no mind to rescue it, suffered them 
to carry the prize away in the face of their whole army, though nothing to fright them, 
but a forlorn-hope of horse. . . That night our regiment was appointed quarters in 

Each of the above accounts has its special items of information ; 
still the most circumstantial and interesting description of this historic 
battle is left in the Despatches of Lieutenant-General Cromwell, to whose 
redoubtable courage and swift decision this signal triumph was even 
more plainly due, than to the discipline and bravery of the army under 
his orders. These Despatches are four in number: — (i) a brief letter, 
written from Preston on the evening of the first day of the conflict 
(August 1 7th) addressed to the Lancashire Committee at Manchester ; 
(2) a fuller and lucid description of the battle and its results, in a Des- 
patch intended to be read to the House of Commons, and addressed to 
the Speaker, William Lenthall ; — this Despatch is dated from Warrington, 
on the 20th of August, and reports the three days' operations down to 

X Narrative, cited in C. W. Tracts, pp. 261-2^ 


the last Lancashire fight at Winwick ; (3) a letter to the Committee at 
York ; and (4) a letter from Wigan, dated 23rd August, to the Com- 
mittee at Derby House, respecting later circumstances and movements. 
Cromwell's first report of the victory was as follows : — 

For the Honourable Committee of Lancashire sitting at Manches- 
ter ; — (I desire the Commander of the Forces there to open this letter, if it come not 
to their [the Committee's] hands). — Gentlemen, — It hath pleased God this day to show 
His great power by making the army successful against the common Enemy. We lay 
last night at Mr. Sherburn's of Stonihurst, nine miles from Preston, which was within 
three miles of the Scots quarters. We advanced betimes the ne.\t morning towards 
Preston, with a desire to engage the Enemy ; and by that time our Forlorn had engaged 
the Enemy, we were about four miles from Preston, and therefore we advanced with 
the whole army ; and the Enemy being drawn out on a Moor betwixt us and the Town, 
the armies on both sides engaged, and after a very sharp dispute, continuinge for three 
or foure houres, it pleased God to enable us to give them a defeat, which I hope we 
shall improve by God's assistance to their utter ruine ; and in this service your coiui- 
trymen have not the least [i. e. a great] share. We cannot bee particular, having not 
time to take accompt of the slaine and prisoners, but we can assure you we have many 
prisoners, and many of those of quality, and many slain, and the Army so dissipated. 
The principal part whereof, with Duke Hamilton, is on south side Ribble and Darwen 
Bridges, and we lying with the greatest part of the army close to them, nothing hinder- 
ing the ruine of that part of the Enemies Army but the night ; it will be our care that 
they shall not pass over any ford beneath the Bridge, to goe northward, or to come 
betwixt us and Whalley. We understand Colonel-General Ashton's are at Whalley ; 
we have seven troops of horse or dragoons that we believe lie at Clitheroe. This night 
I have sent orders to them expressly to march to Whalley, to joyne to those companies, 
that soe we may endeavour the ruine of this Enemie. You perceive by this letter how 
things stand ; by this means the Enemy is broken, and most of their Horse having 
gone Northward, and we having sent a considerable party at the very heels of them, 
and the Enemy having lost almost all his ammunition, and near four thousand armes, 
so that the greatest part of the Foot are naked ; and therefore in order to perfecting 
this worke, we desire you to raise your county, and to improve your forces to the total 
ruine of that enemy, which way soever they go ; and [so] that you shall accordingly 
do your part, doubt not of their total ruine. We thought fit to speed this to you, to 
the end you may not be troubled if they shall march towards you, but improve your 
interest as aforesaid, that you may give glory to God for this unspeakable Mercy. This 
is all at present from your very humble servant, Oliver Cromwell. 

Preston, 17th August, 1648. 

The letter was received the next day by the Manchester Committee, 
and by one of them was sent on to the House of Commons, with a letter 
dated August 19th, signed with the initials "W. L.'" Cromwell's missive 
was read in the House on the 21st of August. 

This despatch was penned in Cromwell's head-quarters in Walton at 
once upon the cessation of the battle, while yet it could not be known 
what the discomfited Hamilton would essay to do with his broken army. 
The Royalist army was then encamped on the rising ground in Walton 

I C. W. Tracts, pp. 256-8. 



township, Just beyond the bridge over the Darwen, and the mass of 
Cromwell's army was posted in Walton village, between Ribble Bridge 
and Danven Bridge, prepared to attack at the first glimmer of the sum- 
mer dawn. Cromwell's solicitude was to prevent Hamilton and his 
Scots escaping him, either by re-crossing the Ribble by the ford near 
Penwortham, and retreating northwards, or else by getting into the valley 
of Ribble, and retiring towards Scotland by the route Langdale's English 
Royalists had advanced to join before the battle. To frustrate any such 
designs, Cromwell had strongly guarded the Ribble at fordable places ; 
and by holding Darwen Bridge and the east bank of the Danven effectu- 
ally blocked the entrance to Ribblesdale. Duke Hamilton had thus no 
chance of moving his shattered host Scotland-ward, but was driven to- 
retreat further into England, where, as Cromwell knew, forces were 
gathering from every hand to intercept the invader now turned fugitive. 
He bade the Manchester Committee raise the county and face the enemy 
boldly should he march in the direction of Manchester. All these dis- 
positions reveal the soldierly skill and sagacity of Cromwell. Hamilton 
commenced his retreat on the only route left open during the night — 
Cromwell's troopers resistlessly pursuing to Chorley, Wigan, and War- 
rington. Three days later, -writing from Warrington, the Republican 
General had a more complete account to give of the enemy, by that time 
wasted almost to annihilation. Cromwell's celebrated despatch to 
Speaker Lenthall, announcing his victory to the House of Commons, is 
inserted at length below : — 

To the Hon. William Lenthall, Esq. , Speaker of the House of Commons : these. 
— Sir, — I have sent up this gentleman to give you an account of the great and good 
hand of God towards you, in the late victory obtained against the enemy in these parts. 
After the conjunction of that party which I brought with me out of Wales with the 
northern forces about Knaresborough and Wetherby, hearing that the enemy was 
advanced with their army into Lancashire, we marched the next day, being the 1 3th of 
this instant August, to Oatley [Otley], having cist off our train and sent it to Knares- 
borough, because of the difficulty of the marching therewith through Craven ; and to 
the end we might with more expedition attend the enemy's motion, and on the 14th 
to Skipton, the 15th to Gisbom, the 16th to Hodder Bridge over Ribble, where we 
had a Council of War, at which we had a consideration whether we should march to 
Whalley that night, and so on to interpose between the Enemy and his further pro- 
gress into Lancashire, and so southward, which we had some advertisement the 
Enemy intended, and since confirmed that they intended for London itself; or 
whether to march over the said Bridge, there being no other betwixt that and 
Preston, and engage the Enemy there, who we did not believe would not stand his 
ground, because we had information that the Irish forces under Munro lately come out 
of Ireland, which consisted of twelve hundred Horse and fifteen hundred Foot, were 
©n their march towards Lancashire to joyn with them. It was thought that to ingage 
the Enemy to fight was our business, and the reason aforesaid giving us hopes that our 
■lurching on the north side of the Ribble would effect it, it was resolved that we 



should march over the Bridge, which accordingly we did, and that night quartered the 
whole army in the field by Stonihurst Hall, being Mr. Sherbum's house, a place nine 
miles distant from Preston. Very early the next morning we marched towards 
Preston, having intelligence that the Enemy was drawing together thereabouts 
from all out-quarters. We drew out a Forlorn of about Two hundred Horse and 
Four Hundred foot, the Horse commanded by Major Smithson, the foot by Major 
Pownal. Our Forlorn of Horse marched within a mile where the Enemy was drawn 
up in the inclosed grounds by Preston, on that side next us ; and there upon a moor, 
about half a mile distant from the Enemies army, met with their scouts and out guard, 
and did behave themselves with that valour and courage as made their Guards (which 
consisted of both horse and foot) to quit their ground, and took divers prisoners, hold- 
ing this dispute with them until our Forlorn of foot came up for their justification, and 
by those we had opportunity to bring up our whole Army. So soon as our foot and 
horse were come up, we resolved that night to engage them if we could, and therefore 
advancing with our Forlorn, and putting the rest of our army into as good a posture 
as the ground would bear (which was totally inconvenient for our horse, being all in- 
cisure and miery ground) we pressed upon them. The Regiments of foot were 
ordered as followeth. There being a lane very deep and ill, up to the enemies army, 
and leading to the town, we commanded two Regiments of horse, the first whereof 
was Col. Harrisons and next was my own, to charge up that lane, and on either side 
of them advanced the Battel, — which were Lieut. Col. Reads, Col. Deans, and Col. 
Prides on the right. Col. Brights and my Lord Generals on the left, and Col. Ashton 
with the Lancashire Regiments in reserve. We ordered Col. Thomhaugh and Col. 
Twisletons Regiments of horse on the right, and one regiment in reserve for the lane, 
the remaining horse on the left ; so that at last we came to a hedge dispute, the greatest 
of the impressions of the Enemy being upon our left Wing, and upon the battel on both 
sides the lane, and upon our horse in the lane, in all which places the Enemy were 
forced from their ground after 4 hours dispute, until we came to the town, into which 
four troops of my regiment first entered, and being well seconded by Col. Harrisons 
regiment, charged the Enemy in the Town, and cleared the streets. There came no 
hands of your foot to fight that day but did it with incredible Valour and Resolution, 
among which Col. Brights, my Lord Generals, Lieut. Col. Reads and Col. 
Ashtons had the greatest work, they often coming to push of pike and close firing, 
and always making the enemy to recoyl ; and indeed I must needs say, God was as 
much seen in the valour of the Officers and Soldiers of these before-mentioned, as in 
any action that hath been performed ; the Enemy making (though he was still worsted) 
very stiff and sturdy resistance. Col. Deans and Col. Prides outwinging the enemy, 
could not come to so much share of the action ; the Enemy shogging down towards 
the Bridge, and keeping almost all in reserve, that so he might bring fresh hands often 
to fight, which we not knowing, but lest we should be outwinged, placed those two 
Regiments to enlarge our Right Wing, which was the cause they had not at that time 
so great a share in the action. At the last the Enemy was put into disorder, many 
men slain ; many prisoners taken ; the Duke with most of the Scots horse and foot 
retreated over the Bridge, where, after a very hot dispute betwixt the Lancashire 
Regiments, part of my Lord Generals and them being at push of I'ike, they [the 
enemy] were beaten from the Bridge, and our horse and foot following them, killed 
many, and took divers prisoners ; and we possessed the bridge over the Darwent and 
a few houses there, the Enemy being driven up within musquet shot of us where we 
lay that night, we not being able to attempt further upon the Enemy, the night pre- 
venting us. In this position did the Enemy and we lie the most part of that night ; 


1 70 


upon entering the town, many of the enemy's horse fled towards Lancaster, in the 
chase of whom went divers of our horse, who pursued them near ten miles, and had 
execution of them, and took about five hundred horse and many Prisoners. We pos- 
sessed in the fight very much of the Enemy's Ammunition ; I believe they lost four 
or five thousand arms. The number of the slain we judge to be about a thousand, 
the prisoners we took were about four thousand. In the night the Duke was drawing 
off his army towards Wiggon ; we were so wearied with the dispute that we did not 
so well attend the Enemy's going off as might have been, by means whereof the 
Enemy was gotten at least 3 miles with his rear, before ours got to them. I ordered 
Collonel Thomhaugh to Command two or three Regiments of horse to follow the 
Enemy if it were possible, to make him stand till we could bring up the army. The 
Enemy marched away seven or eight thousand foot and about four thousand horse ; 
wee followed him with about three thousand foot, and two thousand five hundred horse 
and dragoons ; and in this prosecution that worthy gentleman Collonel Thomhaugh, 
pressing too boldly, was slaine, being ran into the body, and thigh, and head, by the 
Enemies Lancers ; and give me leave to say he was as faithfuU and gallant to your 
service as any, and one who often heretofore lost blood in your quarrel, and now his 
last. He hath left some behind him to inherit a father's honour, and a sad Widdow, 
both now the interest of the Commonwealth. Our horse still prosecuted the Enemie, 
killing and taking divers all the way. At last the Enemy drew up within three miles 
of Wiggon ; and by that time our armie was come up, they drew off again, and re- 
covered Wiggon before we could attempt anything upon them. We lay that night in 
a field close by the enemy, being dirty and weary, and having marched twelve miles 
of such ground as I never rode in all my life, the day being very wet. We had some 
skirmishing that night with the Enemy near the town, where we took Generall Van 
Druske and a Collonel, and killed some principal officers, and took about a hundred 
prisoners ; where I also received a letter from Duke Hamilton, for civil usage towards 
his kinsman Collonel Hamilton, whom he left wounded here. We also took Collonel 
Harvey and Lt. -Col. Jones, sometime in your service. The next morning the Enemy 
marched towards Warrington, and we at the heels of them. The town of Wiggon a 
great and poore tc^wn, and very malignant, were plundered almost to their skins by 
them. We could not engage the Enemy until we came within three miles of War- 
rington, and there the Enemy made a stand at a passe near Winwicke. We had 
them in some Dispute till our army came up, they maintaining the passe with great 
resolution for many hours, ours and theirs coming to push of pike and very close 
charges, and forced us to give ground, but our men, by the blessing of God, quickly 
recovered it, and charging very home upon them, beat them from their standing, where 
we killed about a thousand of them, and tooke (we believe) about two thousand pri- 
soners ; and prosecuted them home to Warrington town, where they possessed the 
bridge, which had a strong barricado and a work upon it, formerly made very 
defensive. As soon as we came thither I received a message from Lieutenant-General 
Baily, desiring some capitulation, to which I yielded, considering the strength of the 
passe [over the Mersey], and that I could not go over the river within ten miles of 
Warrington with the army ; I gave him these terms, that he should surrender himself 
and all his officers and souldiers prisoners of War, with all his arms and ammunition 
and horses to me, I giving quarter for life, and promising civill usage, which accord- 
ingly is done, and the Commissioners deputed by me have received, and are receiving, 
all the arms and ammunition, which will be, as they tell me, about four thousand 
compleat arms, and as many prisoners, and thus you have their infantry totally ruined. 
What colonells and officers are with Lieut. -General Baily, I have not received the 


list. The Duke is marched with his remaining horse, which are about three thousand) 
towards Nantwich, where the gentlemen of the county have tal^en about five hundred 
of them, of which they sent me word this day. The country will scarce suffer any of 
my men to passe, except they have my hand [certificate], telling them they are Scots. 
They bring in and kill divers of them as they light upon them. Most of the nobility 
of Scotland are with the Duke. If I had a thousand horse that could but trot thirty 
miles, I should not doubt but to give a very good account of them ; but truly we are 
so harassed and hagled out in this business, that we are not able to doe more than 
walke an easy pace after them. I have sent post to my Lord Grey, to Sir Henry 
Cholmely, and Sir Edward Roads, to gather altogether with speed for their prosecu- 
tion, as likewise to acquaint the Governor of Stafford therewith. I heare Munro is 
about Cumberland with the horse that ran away [from Preston], and the Irish Horse 
and Foot, which are a considerable body. I have left CoUonel Ashton's three regi» 
ments of Foot, and seven troop of Horse, six of Lancashire and one of Cumberland, 
at Preston, and ordered Collonel Scroop with five troops of Horse and one of Dragoons, 
with two regiments of Foot, viz. Collonel Wastals, to embody with them, by which I 
hope he will be able to make a resistance till we can come up to them, and have or- 
dered them to put their prisoners to the sword, if the Scots shall presume to advance 
upon them, because they cannot [in that case] bring them off with security. Thus you 
have a narrative of the particulars of the successe which God has given you, which I 
could hardly at this time have done, considering the multiplicity of businesse ; but 
truly when I was ingaged in it, I could hardly tell how to say lesse, there being so 
much of God, and I am not willing to say more, lest there should seem to be any of 
man : only give me leave to adde one word, shewing the disparity of the forces on both 
sides, so you may see and all the world acknowledge the great hand of God in this 
businesse. The .Scots army could not be less than twelve thousand effective Foot, 
well armed, and five thousand Horse ; Langdale not less than two thousand five 
hundred foot and fifteen hundred Horse ; in all. Twenty-one thousand ; and truly very 
few of their foot but were as well armed, if not better than yours, and at divers disputes 
did fight two or three hours before they would quit their ground. Yours were about two 
thousand five hundred Horse and Dragoons of your old Army ; about four thousand 
Foot of your old Army; also about sixteen hundred of Lancashire Foot, and about 
five hundred Lancashire Horse, in all about Eight thousand six hundred. You see by 
computation about two thousand of the enemy slaine, betwixt eight and nine thousand 
taken prisoners, besides what are lurking in hedges and private places, which the 
country daily bring in or destroy. Where Langdale and his broken forces are I know 
not, but they are exceedingly shattered. Surely, sir, this is nothing but the hand of 
God ; and whenever anything in this world is exalted, or exalts itself, God will pull it 
down, for this is the day wherein he alone will be exalted. It is not fit for me to give 
advice, nor to say a word what use you should make of this ; more than to pray you, 
and all that acknowledge God, that they will only exalt him, and not hate his people, 
who are as the apple of his eye, and for whom even Kings shall be reproved, and that 
you would take courage to doe the work of the Lord, in fulfilling the end of your 
Magistracy, in seeking the peace and welfare of the people in this land, that all who 
will live quietly and peaceably may have countenance from you ; and they that are 
implacable and will not leave troubling the Land may speedily be destroyed out of the 
Land ; and if you will take courage in this, God will blesse you, and good men will stand 
by you, and God will have glory, and the land will have happiness by you in despite of 
alt your enemies ; which shall be the prayer of your most humble and faithfull Servant, 
20th August, 1648. Oliver Cromwell. 



Postscript. — We have not in all lost a considerable officer but Collonel Thom- 
haugh, and not many soldiers, considering the service, but many are wounded, and ou 
horse much wearied. I humbly crave that some course be taken to dispose of the 
prisoners ; the trouble and extreme charge of the Country where they lie, is more 
than the danger of their escape. I think they would not go home if they might with- 
out a convoy, they are so fearful! of the country from whom they have deserved so ill. 
Ten men will keepe a thousand from running away. 

Lieut.-General Cromwell did not continue the pursuit of the rem- 
nant of Duke Hamilton's force beyond the Mersey. He left that to the 
forces of the counties to the southward, which were mustering with 
alacrity to surround the flying invaders. 

The tidings of Cromwell's splendid series of victories in Lancashire 
were received in the Capital with vast excitement, and by the adherents 
of the Parliamentarian and Republican parties with exultation.^ It took 
in those times three days for a military courier, riding at his utmost 
speed, with relays of horses provided at intervals, to accomplish the dis- 
tance of two hundred miles between Lancashire and London. To do 
the journey even in that time must have been a considerable feat, for 
an average of seventy miles per day upon the ill-kept roads of England 
in 1648 required desperate exertions both by rider and horse. General 
Cromwell's Despatch to the Speaker of the House of Commons, written 
on August 20th, reached its destination within three days, and on the 
Minutes of the House of Commons for August 23rd, 1648, the following 

I The partizans of Royalty in London and the South were, as might be imagined, eagerly expecting 
and awaiting tidings of successes by the forces of Hamilton and Langdale, and received the first 
sinister rumours of disaster with real or pretended incredulity. What was thought and said in those 
circles at this crisis is indicated by passages in the Royalist " Mercurius Pragmaticus," published in the 
week succeeding the battle of Preston. This chronicler writes, about August 22nd : — "A letter also 
was read in the House of Commons from the Committee of Lancashire sitting at Manchester, and 
directed to Sir Ralph Ashton a Member, wherein was inclosed a pretended letter from Cromwell, the 
contents whereof were to give the Committee an accompt at Manchester of a successe against the 
Scots about Preston in Lancashire, where, this paper kite saies, they engaged the maineof the Scottish 
armie early in the morning on Thursday, August 17th, and after 3 or 4 hours dispute worsted 
them, took between 3 and 4,000 arms, killed and took many prisoners, whereof some of quality, but 
that Duke Hamilton was fled with a party of horse." Upon this news the Royalist journalist casts 
contemptuous discredit. But in his next issue he has dejectedly to record its full confirmation :— 
" Tuesday, August 22, was a day of refreshing to the poor baited Faction. For the letter read before 
the House, which was sent by the Lancashire Committee, &c., touching the rout of the Scottish army, 
and which I then slighted in the close of the last week, because it came only from their own creatures, 
the partes of it very rude and indigested, and had nothing to second it, till on Tuesday there came a 
more probable relation under Cromwell's own fist ; wherein he gives accompt of the numbers of each 
army before the Engagement, the manner of the fight, and the successe of both parties. He makes 
the Scots and Langdale united to have been 21 thousand, now that they are beaten, tho' before they 
were undervalued, and it was malignancy to reckon them above 10 or 12 thousand at most. As for 
the manner of the fight, it was acted on severall stages : First it began at Preston, in Lancashire, where 
the Duke being worsted he retreated to Wigan, and from thence to Warrington, where Lieut. -Generall 
Baily, Lt.-Gen. of the Scotch Foot, yielded up himself with 4000 arms and 5000 prisoners, by which 
means the infantry being quite ruined, the Duke himself fled with 4000 horse towards Namptwich, but 
whither since you shall heare by and by. He [Cromwell] computed about 2000 of the enemy slain, 
betwixt 8 and 9000 prisoners." 



record is entered of the reception of the despatch by the House, and of 
its Resolutions thereupon : — 

A Letter from Lieutenant General Cromwell, of 20 Augusti, 1648, relating the 
Particulars of the wonderful great Victory, bestowed, by the great Mercy of God, 
against the Scotts whole Army, on the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth 
instant, in Lancashire, now this day read ; and ordered to be forthwith printed and 

Resolved, &c. That there be a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving, through the whole 
Kingdom, unto Almighty God, for his wonderful great Mercy and Success, bestowed 
upon the Parliament Forces under the Command of Lieutenant-General Cromwell, 
against the whole Scotts Army under the Conduct and Command of Duke Hamilton, 
on the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth of this present August, in Lancashire. 
And that this Day be Thursday come Fortnight, being the Seventh Day of September 
next, 1648. 

Resolved, &c. That a Collection be made in all the Churches and Chapels 
through the whole Kingdom, on Thursday come Fortnight, the Seventh of September, 
the Day appointed for a General and Solemn Thanksgiving for the great Victory 
against the Scotts : And that the Monies, bestowed and collected upon that Day, be 
employed for the Relief and Supply of the wounded Soldiers in Lancashire ; and of 
the poor and visited People and Places there. 

It was at the same sitting further — 

Ordered, That a Letter of suitable hearty Thanks, to be signed by Mr. Speaker, 
be sent to Lieutenant General Cromwell, taking notice of his great Valour, Vigilancy, 
and wise Conduct, in this great Service against the Scotts in Lancashire ; desiring him 
to give the thanks of this House to all his Officers for their good Service ; and to let 
them know, that his Desires by his Letter are taken into consideration. Mr. Lisle is 
to prepare the Letter. 

Ordered, That a Letter of Thanks, to be signed by Mr. Speaker, be sent to 
Colonel Ashton, for his good service against the Scotts Forces. Sir Ralph Ashton to 
prepare the Letter. 

Ordered, That a Letter of Thanks, to be signed by Mr. Speaker, be sent to the 
Committee of Lancashire, taking notice of their seasonable and ready assistance against 
the Scotts Forces. Colonel Moore to prepare the Letter. 

Some further references to the victory are found in the Commons 
Journals of the 25th August. 

Two days Cromwell remained about Warrington, and on August 
23rd he began to retrace his steps, purposing to return into Yorkshire, 
and from Wigan he wrote to the Parliamentarian Committee at York, 
advising them to be prepared for the contingency of Hamilton's appear- 
ance in their direction. 

Another interesting letter of Cromwell has been brought to light.' 
The story of the great battle would hardly be complete without this 
letter, passages of which are subjoined. This letter is addressed to the 
Committee of Lords and Commons at Derby House : — 

Wigan, 23rd Aug., 1648.— My Lords and Gentlemen,— I did not (being straitened 
I Printed in Appendix to Carlylc's Letters, &c., of Cromwell. 



with time) send you an account of the great blessing of God upon your Army ; — ^I trust 
it is satisfactory to your lordships that the House had it so fully presented to them. 
My Lords, it cannot be imagined that so great a business as this could be without some 
loss ; — although I confess very little compared with the weightiness of the engagement ; 
there being on our part not an Hundred Slain, yet many Wounded. And to our little 
army it is a real weakening, for indeed we are but a handful. I submit to your Lprd- 
ships, whether you will think fit or no to recruit our Loss ; we having but Five poor 
Regiments of foot, and our horse so exceedingly battered as I never saw them in a'l 
my life. . . I offer it to your Lordships that Money may be sent to pay the foot and 
horse to some equality. Some of those that were here seventy days before I marched 
from Windsor into Wales have not had any pay ; and amongst the horse my own 
Regiment and some others are much behind. . . We have very much to do which 
might be better done if we had the wherewithal. Our P'oot want clothes, shoes and 
stockings ; these ways and weather have shattered them all to pieces : that which was 
the great blow to our horse was (beside the weather and incessant marches) our March 
ten miles to fight with the Enemy, and a Fight continuing four hours in as dirty a 
place as ever I saw horse stand in ; and, upon the matter, the continuance of the Fight 
two days more together in our following the Enemy, and lying close by him in the 
mire. . . I have sent Major-General Lambert with above Two Thousand horse and 
dragoons and about Fourteen Thousand [hundred] foot in prosecution of the Duke and 
the Nobility of Scotland with him ; who will, I doubt not, have the blessing of God 
with him in the business. But indeed his horse are exceedingly weak and weary. I 
have sent to Yorkshire and to my Lord Grey to alarm all parts to a prosecution ; and 
if they be not wanting to the work, I see not how many can escape. I am marched 
[marching] myself back to Preston, — and so on towards Monro or otherwise, as God 
shall direct. As things fall out I shall represent them to you ; and rest, my Lords 
and Gentlemen, your most humble servant, Oliver Cromwell. 

Two days after the date of this missive, on August 25th, 1648, Duke 
Hamilton and the remains of his army, including many personages of 
distinction, surrendered to the Parliamentarian forces at Uttoxeter in 
Staffordshire. On this announcement, Major-General Lambert at once 
turned his pursuing force about and hastened to rejoin his chief. Crom- 
well, as he states at the close of the letter just given, proceeded to 
Preston, there to decide upon his future course.' 

From Preston, after resting his overwrought regiments two or three 

I The Colours taken from the King's army by Cromwell in the Preston campaign were eighty-five in 
number. Harleian MS. No. 1460, Codex 2, is a folio volume of illuminated representations of all the 
colours captured in the battles of Preston and Dunbar, with the title engrossed : — "A Perfect Registry 
of all the Collours (and Standards) taken from the Scots at Preston, Co. Lancaster, by the then Lord 
General Cromwell, anno 1648, &c. (also Colours taken at Dunbar, anno 1650) ; and for the perpetuall 
memoriall of those signal! Trophies of his Highnesse Victories and Valour to succeeding ages, carefully 
attested and compiled by F.F. F.F. ( f. Fitz.-Paganum Fisherum, Fitz.-Pagani Filium), Historio- 
grapher of his Highnesse Warres in Ireland and Scotland, &c." Of " the Ensigns taken at Preston, 
1648," the first is a blue flag, inscribed with gold letters DATE CjESAR, surmounted by a crown gilt. 
The second colour is a blue and white cross, with emerald wreath on the intersection of the cross, and 
the legend distributed in the interspaces : — " For Religion, Covenant, King, and Kingdoms." This^ 
with differences in the colours forming the crosses, and verbal variations in the mottos, is a type of a large 
proportion of the standards captured at Preston. Full half the colours taken are represented as more 
or less torn and fragmentary ; not a few are almost reduced to the bare staff, or a mere shred at the 
staff-end, — a token of the fierceness of the struggle before their capture and surrender. 


days, Cromwell marched back by the same route he had advanced to open 
the campaign, through Blackburn Hundred into West Yorkshire, with 
the intent of pushing forward to Scotland by the eastern road through 
Durham and Northumbeiland. The Lancashire annalist of the war, 
describing the course of Cromwell's movements after his return from 
pursuing Hamilton, writes : — " His [Cromwell's] purpose being to march 
again into Yorkshire, he therefore sent order to all his forces that with 
all haste they should follow him, being then gone to the Stonyhurst, 
where he quartered the first night he came into the county.'" Cromwell 
had thus proceeded, with his staff and a body-guard, perhaps, from Pres- 
ton to Stonyhurst, and quartered at Mr. Sherburne's mansion on the 
first night of his return-journey. Thence he went into Craven, leaving 
orders that his regiments, scattered over the western parts of Lancashire, 
should follow him immediately. Some of these troops were in Preston ; 
others in the Fylde ; and others at points between Preston and W-igan. 
The Preston troops, united with the detachments in the Fylde, would 
take the road by Longridge to Clitheroe, in the direct track of their 
General and the vanguard ; others, posted more to the south, would con- 
centrate and march through Blackburn to Whalley or Burnley, and so 
fall in with the other part of the army on the borders of the two counties. 

Such is the story of the remarkable Lancashire campaign of 1648. 
Its results were the destruction of the Stuart party in Scotland, to whose 
succours the captive Monarch and his friends had confidently looked 
when the resistance of the Cavaliers of England had been borne 
down. The whole body of the Scottish nobility and gentry of the 
Royalist party were either slain or captured in fight during these days of 
successive disasters, or finally surrendered wiih their leader at Uttoxeter. 
The victory of Cromwell at Preston was the real " Death Warrant " of 
Charles the First, for there can be no doubt that from the hour when 
Duke Hamilton commenced his flight with his broken and dispirited 
host from the banks of the Darwen, on the morning of August i8th, 
1 648, the doom of the imprisoned King was silently sealed in the minds 
of Cromwell and his political associates. 

Archdeacon Echard quotes a statement of Ludlow regarding the 
reception by King Charles of the news of the Battle of Preston, in his 
place of confinement at Carisbrooke Castle, to the effect "that when 
the news of the loss came to the Isle of Wight, the King said to the 
Governor, ' That it was the worst News that ever came to England ;' to 
which he answered, his Majesty had no reason to be of that opinion, 
since if Hamilton had beaten the English, he would have certainly 
possessed himself of the throne of England and Scotland. The King 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 67. 



presently reply'd : — ' You are mistaken ; I could have commanded him 
back with the motion of my Hand.' "' 

The Lancashire troops, under the command of Col.-GeneralAssheton, 
among which were the regiments of Blackburn Hundred, after the battle 
were detached from Cromwell's army and left at Preston, with orders to 
march north in pursuit of those Royalists who had retreated by the 
northern roads. The remnants of Langdale's force, on reaching 
the neighbourhood of Lancaster, united themselves with a body of 
English troops under Sir Thomas Tyldesley, which had been engaged 
in the siege of Lancaster Castle, but had desisted on report of the disaster 
to the main army on the Ribble. Col.-General Assheton marched into 
Lonsdale after Tyldesley, who retired into the mountains of Westmore- 
land and Cumberland. The retreat and pursuit were continued for 
several weeks without any important encounter between the hostile 
forces ; but at length, in the first week of October, 1648, the Roundhead 
commander brought Sir Thomas Tyldesley to bay. The Royalist force 
would have retreated upon Carlisle, but was headed by Assheton, who had 
relieved Cockermouth Castle, and forced the enemy to abandon the 
hope of gaining Carlisle. Some of the Cavalier troops, seeing escape 
cut off, broke up and dispersed over the country ; but the major portion 
preserved their discipline, and retreated to Appleby Castle in Westmore- 
land, then held by a small Royalist garrison. Tyldesley's men had no 
sooner shut themselves up in this castle than Col.-General Assheton 
approached, and invested the place. The Castle of Appleby was not 
capable of standing a siege. Col.-General Assheton at once summoned 
the garrison, and by Saturday, October 7 th, the conditions of surrender 
had been agreed to. There were 1,000 horse-soldiers in the place, 
besides the garrison, and 1,200 horses; but the horses were bought by 
the Roundhead soldiers at small prices before the capitulation was 
carried out. The conditions of surrender were that all inferior officers 
and common soldiers must lay down their arms and return home in 
quietness ; and that the chief officers. Sir Philip Musgrave, Sir Thomas 
Tyldesley, and others, should retire beyond seas within six months, and 
obey all orders of Parliament. The number of superior officers taken 
prisoners at Appleby was remarkable. They included no fewer than 
fifteen colonels, who had apparently lost their regiments, nine lieutenant- 
colonels, six sergeant-majors, forty-six captains, &c. 

This capture was the termination of hostilities on the western side 
of the country ; and Cromwell, operating on the eastern side, before this 
time was in Edinburgh, dictating terms to the enemy in his northern 
strongholds. Colonel-General Assheton's Lancashire forces, numbering 

Hist, of Engl., V. ii, p. 604. 



Some four thousand, after the victory at Appleby marched leisurely 
down to their native places in East Lancashire. 

On the 30th of January, 1648-9, the sternest and saddest act of that 
conflict between King and People was accomplished in the execution of 
King Charles at Whitehall. Necessary or unnecessary, Charles's death 
did not end the strife of contending parties, nor settle the question of 
the English form of government. 

After the execution of Charles the First, the Houses of Parliament, 
more at their ease than hitherto, began to effect the reduction of the 
standing army that had been brought into existence by the war. This 
was done by disbanding the county militia regiments and other provin- 
cial levies. Some opposition was offered to thfe orders to disband in 
Lancashire and elsewhere. The militia regiments were composed of 
men who had become weaned from peaceful avocations and fond of the 
adventurous, predatory occupation of soldiering ; and there was also a 
religious feud between the army of Cromwell, that was kept intact, and the 
local forces that were ordered to disband. The Lancashire troops deemed 
themselves the mainstay of that Presbyterian Establishment to which the 
Cromwellian soldiers were generally averse. In the beginning of 1649, 
the order to disband was received by the commanders of the forces of 
Blackburn, Salford, and Amounderness Hundreds. The first difficulty 
that arose in carrying out the order was in the matter of pay ; and in the 
House of Commons, on March 6th, 1648-9, Lieutenant-General Crom- 
well reported from the Council of State, " That they think fit there 
should be an addition of Money for disbanding the Forces under Colonel 
Shuttleworth," — that is, the militia of Blackburn Hundred. About March 
20th, letters received from Lancaster reported " that the forces of Col. 
Ashton, about four thousand, refuse to disband, profess for the Covenant, 
and are encouraged by the [Presbyterian] clergy ;" and further "that Major- 
General Lambert is gone to disband them by force, if there is no other way." 
The mutinous regiments shortly afterwards left Lancaster, marched over 
the hills of Bowland to Clitheroe,and attempted to fortify themselves in the 
Castle of Clitheroe. This revolt of the local Militia was quickly sup- 
pressed. By March 27th intelligence reached the Government that 
"the Lancashire forces had submitted to disband, and had quitted 
Clitheroe Castle."' On that day, the House of Commons passed the 
following orders : — "Ordered, That it be referred to the Council of State, 
particularly to take into consideration the present demolishing of Bolsover 
Castle and Clitheroe Castle, and also to take into consideration all such 
other Inland Castles as they shall think fit, for the present demolishing 
thereof. — Ordered, That Captain Carter's Troop in Lancashire be forth- 

I C. W. Tracts, p. 277. 



with disbanded ; and that the Deputy Lieutenant of the said County be 
required to take special care to see them speedily disbanded accordingly.'" 

In accordance with the foregoing order, the Castle at Clitheroe was 
afterwards razed, with the exception of the keep, which still stands the 
solitary local memorial of the Norman age. A century ago, some frag- 
ments of the fallen castle-walls were yet streuTi around the scarp. 
Grose writes : — " The old gate and chapel were demolished in the Civil 
War ; large pieces of the wall, strongly cemented, still lye on the side 
and at the foot of the rock, probably disjointed and thrown thither by 
the force of gunpowder." 

At the beginning of April, 1649, a Petition was presented to Par- 
liament from the Inhabitants of the Hundred of Blackburn, setting forth 
the services of the signatories to the cause, and their desire that Parlia- 
ment should consider what compensation might be due to them for their 
sacrifices and losses in the war. A minute relating to the presentation 
of this Petition on the 4th of April, 1649, is entered : — "The Petition 
of the well-affected Inhabitants of the Hundred of Blackburne in the 
County of Lancaster, was this day read. — Ordered, That Mr. Rigby do 
return the Thanks of this House to the Petitioners, for their faithful 
Service and good Affections to the Parliament and Commonwealth. — 
Ordered, That the said Petition and the business therein, be referred to the 
Consideration of the Council of State. "^ One of the matters about which 
Parliament was app>ealed to was the considerable sums of money due to 
the soldiers of the Lancashire regiments, now disbanded, for arrears of 
pay ; and the two Houses discussed means for the immediate discharge 
of this obligation. On April 9th, the House of Commons passed two 
Orders, one providing for the prompt payment of the Lancashire forces, 
and the other dealing with contingent cases of refusal to obey the order 
to disband. The terms of the Orders were these : — 

Ordered, That the Three Thousand One Hundred Fifty-five Pounds Fifteen 
Shillings and Tenpence, late due to the Lord WiUoughby of Parham, out of the 
Receipts of Goldsmiths' Hall, and assigned to be paid to the Lancashire Forces, by 
Order of the House of Commons of the Twenty-fourth of October last, as is pre- 
engaged to other uses, shall be discharged from any Engagement to the said Forces ; 
And that the Treasurer of Goldsmiths' Hall do forthwith pay, out of their Receipts, 
to Mr. James Wainewright, of the City of London, Haberdasher, for the use of the 
said Forces of Lancashire, towards their Arrears, the Sum of Four Thousand Six 
Hundred Pounds, out of the Second Moiety of the Fine imposed upon the Lord 
Molineaux, for his Delinquency, notwithstanding any former engagements thereof to 
the contrary : Which Monies, the said Mr. Wainewright is, without delay, to pay over 
unto Mr. Wm. Cottom, of Preston, Alderman, who is to pay the same over in manner 
following ; viz. : For such of the said Forces as marched under Command of Major- 
General Ashton, in the late Expedition against the Scotts, the sum of Three Thousand 
1 Journals of H. of Commons. 2 lb. 


Four hundred Pounds, according to such order and directions as he shall from time to 
time receive from the said Major-General Ashton ; and the sum of Twelve hundred 
Pounds unto the other Forces of that County, that were under the Command of Colonel 
Nicholas Shuttleworth. 

It is also Ordered, That if any of the Forces shall continue together, or at any 
time hereafter gather together contrary to the Order for their Disbanding, that all and 
every such person and persons, so continuing and gathering together, shall lose the 
Benefit of this Order, and shall not have any part of the money aforesaid ; but all such 
of the said Monies as otherwise should have been paid unto them, shall be paid to 
Major-General Ashton, to be paid among the residue of the Forces, as he shall think 

The country now enjoyed peace for two years. But in the Spring 
of 1651, another attempt was made to reinstate the Stuarts, which again 
took the shape of an invasion of England from Scotland, the Er}glish 
Royalists actively co-operating. Charles Stuart, eldest son of the late 
King, reappeared in Scodand, in the eariy part of the year. An army 
was raised to sustain him, and when it was found that Cromwell, occupy- 
ing with the English army the fortified places on the east side of Scotland, 
could not be dislodged, it was resolved to march the forces of Scottish 
Royalists into England, on the westerly route, by which it would be, 
impossible for Cromwell to come up with the invaders until they had 
advanced into the heart of the country. Charles Stuart crossed the 
Border, with an army of 16,000 men, in June, 1651. Cromwell, with 
his army, was far in the interior of Scotland, in the neighbourhood of 
Perth, when the enemy's movement southward commenced; but evidently 
did not regard the advance as a serious danger to the Commonwealth, 
for he made no haste to follow, but sent orders to General Lambert, 
commanding a force.of horse, to place himself upon the left flank of the 
Scottish army, and to offer resistance if favourable occasion should 

On Thursday, August 14th, 1651, Charles Stuart and his army 
entered Preston. He did not lodge in the town, but rode on to Euxton 
Hall to spend the night. A writer to Merciirius Politkus reported : — 
" Upon Thursday his [Charles's] foot having the van over Ribble Bridge, 
that night he lodged at Euxton-Burgh, six miles on this side of Preston, 
being Mr. Hugh Anderton's house, who was prisoner at Lancaster, but 
set at liberty by the Scots."^ The next night, the Stuart slept at Bryn 
Hall, the seat of the Gerards. Thence Charles passed over Warrington 
Bridge into Cheshire, Lambert hanging upon his flank, with an occasional 
skirmish along the whole route. 

At Northwich, in Cheshire, on Sunday, August 1 7th, the Earl of 
Derby reached Charles and had a consultation with him. The Earl 
had landed on the previous Friday, at Presall Sands, on the Wyre. In 

1 Journals of H. of Commons. 2 C. W. Tracts, p. 288. 



seven vessels he brought over from the Isle of Man 300 Manx-men, and 
the gentry who had taken refuge in the Island. The Earl and his 
followers marched through the Fylde, being joined by several Roman 
Catholic gentlemen of the district ; crossed the Ribble on Saturday, the 
1 6th August, and reached Lathom House the same day. From Lathom 
he posted after the Scottish army, and appeared at the Royal head- 
quarters, as stated, on the 17th. At the interview with Charles, it was 
arranged that the Earl should return to Lancashire, and endeavour to 
raise the old adherents of the dynasty within the county. The nucleus 
of the Earl's command was the Manx troops, about 60 horse and 2 50 
foot. Lord Derby was at Warrington on the 20th August, and had 
returned to Preston the day following. On the other side, a regiment 
of horse and some companies of foot under Col. Lilbume were ordered 
out of Cheshire to watch the Earl of Derby's movements in Lancashire 
and to frustrate his intentions. 

At Preston, Lord Derby was very active in sending out agents into 
various parts of Lancashire to enroll men for the Royal service ; and for 
a brief time the King's party in this district " put a great fear into the 
country, as if they could have conquered all and had it at their will."* 
But on Saturday, August 23 rd, Colonel Lilbume approached Preston, 
and quartered his regiment of horse at Brindle, four miles south of 
the town. A sharp skirmish occurred between the Earl's men and 
Lilbume's somewhere between Brindle and the Ribble, probably in 
Walton township, in which the Royalists were worsted. Lilbume's 
troopers — 

Had put their horses to grasse in those low meadows between [Brindle] Church 
and Preston, the soldiers taking their ease, being laid down by their saddles in the 
closes where their horses were feeding ; which, as the event proved, was made known 
to some of the Earl's party in Preston by some secret enemy (they being all enemies 
thereabouts) what a prize might be had of Lilbume's Soldiers' horses, the men being 
all at rest. This being sodenly apprehended by a company of young striplings, Gen- 
tlemen's Sons with other like to them, new fresh men, altogether ignorant of such 
warlike exploits, to the number of twentie and twoo or thereabouts, — these, rashlie, 
without orders or advice, adventured upon the desperate designe in the day tyme to 
make a prize of the horses of some of Colonel Lilbume's Troopers. They were 
directed through a secret private way in woody, close places into the Meadows where 
the Horses were feeding, which gave see sudden alarm to the Soldiers halfe asleepe 
that they were at a mighty stand, no{ knowing what to think, conceive, or doe in the 
business ; for the guard that was set in the loane below, nearer to Preston, neyther 
seeing nor hearing any thing of any enemie. Upon the allarum they cryed "Annes, 
Armes, " which when they had done they disputed so vehementlie with the young men 
that they were soundly payed home for their forwardness. None escaped but eyther 
slayne or taken, save one called Newsham, who forsaking his horse fled into a thick 
Oiler tree and there hid himself in the leaves thereof and at night went away. There 

I Disc, of Warr, p. 73. 


■was slaine — Butler, the young heir of Racliffe ; — Hesketh, a second sonn of Mr. 
Hesketh of Maynes, and a young lad of the North country called Knipe, with others 
whose names I hard not. Richard Wilding servant to Mr. Stanley, of Eccleston, left 
his service to be a soldier and to attend young Butler. He was not killed downright 
in the skirmish, but sore wounded and cut, that being caryed to Preston he died 
within ten daies. John Clifton, second son to Mr. Clifton of Lythom, was grievously 
wounded and taken prisoner.^ 

This affair took place in the afternoon of the day of Colonel 
Lilburne's arrival at Brindle — Saturday, Aug. 23rd. The next day, 
Sunday, Aug. 24th, Lilburne, who had retired a little, by way of pre- 
caution, in the direction of Hoghton, was joined by the venerable 
Puritan leader Colonel Richard Shuttleworth, who had mustered a body 
of men in Blackburn Hundred to aid in the expulsion of Lord Derby 
from the county. The chronicler narrates that on tlie Sunday above 
dated, " ould Colonel Richard Shuttleworth and the country thereabouts 
came to him [Lilburne] at Houghton Tower, and there stood in a bodie 
the most of that day, making so great a show that they were discovered 
to Preston."' Fearing the enemy's strength, the Earl of Derby's troops 
" in the silence of the night secretly marched from Preston, making noe 
stay before they came to Wiggon. . . It was eight or nyne of the 
clocke the next morning [Monday, August 25th], before Colonel Lilburne 
had any intelligence of their marching away and totall leaving of Pres- 
ton, which when he was certaine of and which way they marched, with 
as much convenient speed as possible he gathered his Regiment into a 
bodie and made after them, and was come within a myle and a halfe of 
Wiggon by one of the clocke, being resolved and disposed to give the 
Earle battell if he stayed. And Providence had so ordered it that there 
were come up to his assistance two Foot companies from Chester under 
the leading of Captaine Robert Jollie and Captaine Samuel Smith, and 
another Foot Companie of new raised men from Liverpoole. These 
were quartered within Brindle, and kept guard in the Church of Brindle 
the Saturday night after the defeat of the young men spoken of before. 
These were all the Foot that Colonell Lilburne had marching with him 
to Wiggon.'"' 

The decisive conflict between Colonel Lilburne and the Earl oi 
Derby was fought in the afternoon of the same day, August 25 th, at 
Wigan Town End. The battle is known as that of " Wigan Lane." Its 
result was a defeat for the Earl of Derby. Sir Thomas Tyldesley was 
there slain, and the Earl himself was wounded, but was able to escape. 
Four hundred Royalists, including many important officers, were cap- 
tured. In one of Colonel Lilburne's despatches after the battle, the 
Colonel refers to the movements about Preston and Brindle, immediately 

I Disc, of Warr, pp. 73-4. 2 lb., pp. 74-5. 


precedent to the fight : — " The next day, in the aftemoone, I having no 
foot with me, a party of the Enemies' Horse fell smartly amongst us 
where our horses were grazing, and for some space put us pretty hard to 
it ; but at last it pleased the Lord to strengthen us so as that we put 
them to the flight, and pursued them to Ribble Bridge . . and kild 
and took about 30 prisoners, most officers and gentlemen, with the loss 
of two men that dyed next morning ; but severall wounded, and divers 
of our good horses killed. That night came three regiments of Foot, 
and the next morning hearing of your Excellencie's Regiment coming 
towards Manchester, I only marched two miles to a more convenient 
ground, thinking to have staied there till your Regiment could come, 
which I expected this day, but their weariness frustrated that expecta- 
tion, and this morning I had intelligence that the Enemy was upon their 
march, which I thought was a running away from us, being that they 
began at 1 1 in the night, and marched so fast and privately, but their 
confidence was much otherwise raised, having increased their number at 
Preston."^ Then follows the victor's description of the Wigan-Lane 

The Earl of Derby, though hurt at Wigan, succeeded in reaching 
the principal army of the Royalists, and shared in the battle and defeat 
at Worcester, Sept. 3rd, i65r. Charles Stuart contrived to make his 
escape, but the unfortunate Earl of Derby was shortly afterwards taken, 
conducted to Chester, and thence to Bolton, where he was beheaded, 
Oct. 15th, 165 1. With this tragedy, the story of the Civil War of 1 641 -51 
dolefully closes. 


After the suppression of the last rising of the Stuart party in 1651, 
Parliament addressed itself afresh to the work of sequestration of the 
estates of those landowners who had joined with the dynastic house in 
the struggle for supremacy between Monarch and Parliament. Many 
who had escaped the former compositions in 1643 and 1646 were now 
swept into the net as the proper prey of the ascendant party, and under 
the "Additional Bill for the Sale of several Lands and Estates forfeited to 
the Commonwealth for Treason," before the House of Commons in Octo- 
ber, 1652, some hundreds of Lancashire Royalist gentry, the majority of 
them being Roman Catholics, were subjected to legalised plunder. The 
names of sufferers on this occasion connected with Blackburn parish are 
not numerous, the parish containing fewer Royalist families than other 
districts of the County, but the following are embraced in the categories 
of this sequestration : — John Talbot of Dinckley, Esq. ; Alexander 

I Lilbume's Letter to Cromwell, in C. W. Tracts, pp. 303-7. 


Osbaldeston of Osbaldeston, Esq. ; Robert Osbaldeston of Oxen- 
dale, gent. ; Edward Rishton of Mickle-heyes, gent. ; John Parker of 
Loveley, gent. ; John Barker of Wheetley ; Robert Craven of Billington ; 
Robert Fowle of Billington ; Laurence Park of Cuerdale ; and Thomas 
Sowerbutts of Samlesbury. 


The month of May, 1660, was signalised by the return to the 
palace of his ancestors of Charles Stuart, son of the monarch beheaded 
eleven years before. The change in Government, from a Common- 
wealth back to a monarchy, was not only effected without a fresh resort 
to arms, but with general acquiescence ; for after the voluntary resigna- 
tion of Richard Cromwell, son of the late Lord Protector, no man being 
found capable of assuming the Protectorship, the recall of the represent- 
ative of the old Royal House was a political necessity. Charles the 
Second was crowned April 23rd, i66r. The restoration of the Stuarts 
produced little change in the aspect of civil and social affairs in this 
part of Lancashire. The survivors among the gentry of Blackburn 
Hundred who had borne conspicuous parts against the dynasty in the 
late war made their peace with the new Government, and retained their 
properties by no greater sacrifice than their acknowledgment of the 
King's supremacy. It was in matters ecclesiastical that the reinstate- 
ment of the monarchy occasioned the most significant revulsion. The 
Presbyterian Church-establishment in this county did not outlive the 
political conditions that called it into being. While the return to an 
Episcopal Church Establishment was greatly welcomed in England, 
there existed among the Puritan party a strong dislike to some portions 
of the Book of Common Prayer, on the ground that in its formulas were 
vestiges of the errors and superstitions of the Church of Rome. The 
King and his advisers were not favourable to a revision of the Prayer 
Book in the direction of a more pronounced Protestantism, but insisted 
upon the restoration of the Church's worship in its old forms, and this 
many of the more determined Puritans could not brook. Hence the 
passing of the Act of Uniformity, in May, 1662, resulted in the exclu- 
sion of a number of clergymen from the cures they then held, and in the 
refusal to conform of many Puritan lay-churchmen. The Uniformity Act, 
and the ejections and prosecutions under its provisions, have the credit 
of causing the first extensive development of Protestant Nonconformity 
in England. Those who had declined to observe the Anglican ritual 
and obey Episcopal government before this time were denominated 
" Separatists," or " Sectaries " and " Schismatics," by their antagonists, 
but not " Nonconformists." In some parts of England the party called 

1 84 


" Independents," of whom the Baptists were a branch holding similaf 
opinions as to Church government, but divergent views upon the rite of 
Baptism, was rather numerous before the Commonwealth period ; but 
not many avowing these principles were found in Lancashire, and in the 
parish of Blackburn hardly a trace appears of this earlier Dissent 
before the Civil War and gener|J overturn of ancient institutions in Church 
and State set men cogitating upon new theories of government, civil and 

The Act of Uniformity enacted " that every parson, vicar, curate, 
lecturer, or other ecclesiasticall person, neglecting or refusing, before the 
Feast Day of St. Bartholomew, 1662, to declare openly before their 
respective congregations, his assent and consent to all things contained 
in the Book of Common Prayer established by the said Act, ipso facto 
be deposed, and that every parson, vicar, curate, lecturer, or other eccle- 
siasticall person, failing in his subscription to a declaration mentioned 
in the said Act to be subscribed before the Feast Day of St. Bartholomew, 
1662, shall be utterly disabled, and ipso facto deprived, and his place be 
void, as if the person so failing were naturally dead." This Act was not 
put into force until the lapse of a period of more than two years after the 
fall of the Commonwealth, and the return of Charles II. to the throne. 
In those two years, circumstances had compelled some of the "preach- 
ing ministers " holding the poor benefices in this part of the country to 
cease their ministrations, without waiting for the decree of ejection. The 
endowments pertaining to the majority of the parochial chapels and 
chapels of ease in Lancashire were so insignificant that many of them 
had never possessed a regular resident ministry since the Reformation, 
until the imposition of the Presbyterian Government in 1646. Under 
that establishment, the miserable provision for ministerial maintenance 
from the ancient endowments of most of these churches and chapels had 
been supplemented by an annual grant towards a minister's stipend by a 
County Committee, and afterwards by a body called the " Committee of 
Plundered Ministers," administering a fund derived from the sequestra- 
tion of the estates of Royalist " delinquents." These grants varied from 
£>2)° to £i'i'^ P^r annum, and by their means competent ministers were 
maintained in residence in the poorest benefices. But this provident 
Committee and its fund must at once have ceased to exist when the 
Stuarts had been brought back, and when those who had been fined and 
punished as " delinquents " foiind themselves masters of the situation. 
With the stoppage of their allowances, the ministers in those chapelries 
where the former endowments were too small to support a curate would 
be driven to suspend their services, and to seek S(;me other employment, 
except in the cases where the parishioners were willing to subscribe sums. 


adequate for their support. Such cases would not be numerous in those 
unsettled times ; and it is certain that a number of the preachers by 
appointment of the Presbytery had ceased their duties and withdrawn 
from the cures of their own accord, months before the Act of Uniformity 
came into force to compel their assent and consent to the Book of 
Common Prayer. The fact is thus accounted for, that in this part of 
the kingdom so few of the ministers who held appointments under 
the Presbytery a few years before are mentioned either as having con- 
formed or among the ejected in 1662. 

In this parish the only benefice the endowment of which afforded a 
sufficient stipend for a minister was the Parish Church of Blackburn, 
the fixed value of which was £49 los. gd. per annum. The Vicar, 
Mr. Leonard Clayton, has been instituted by the Presbytery on the 
nomination of the parishioners in 1647; but there had been no expul- 
sion of a prior incumbent of episcopal ordination and appointmeht, for 
the former Vicar, Adam Bolton, had accepted the Presbytery in 1646, and 
retained the living until his death in the following year. Vicar Clayton 
reconciled himself to Anglican creeds and forms in 1660, and thus con- 
tinued Vicar on the Act of Uniformity coming into force. None of the 
dependent churches in the parish at this date possessed a maintenance for 
a resident minister. The three ancient parochial chapels of Lawe(Walton), 
Samlesbury, and Great Har^vood had each no more than ^£4 per 
annum of a settled revenue, and the Act of Uniformity found Walton 
and Samlesbury churches already destitute of curates and left them so. 
At Great Harwood the minister under the Pi'esbytery, Mr. Sandford, had 
remained after the failure of his allowance from the County Committee, 
and declining to conform, was ejected in 1662. This was the only cleri- 
cal ejection in Blackburn Parish. The chapels-of-ease at Langho, 
Balderstone, Tockholes, and Over Darwen, had no endowment whatever 
in 1650, and in 1662 had no ministers left in possession by the extinct 
Presbytery to be subjected to the tests of an exacting statute. 

A considerable number of the Puritan laity in the parish, however, 
withheld conformity to the reconstituted national Church ; and, in the 
years of religious persecution which followed, observed religious worship 
according to their preference, casually, as occasion served, and fur- 
tively, in secret meetings, for fear of legal penalties. These Nonconformist 
congregations continued to meet in several private houses in the dis- 
trict until the relaxation of the prohibitive laws permitted more public 
assemblies in stated meeting-houses. The ejected pastors visited these 
groups of Nonconformists and preached to them in turn, and eventually 
settled as resident ministers of churches formed upon Congregational 
and Presbyterian principles. 





To the four Subsidies granted to Charles II. in the year 1663 (the 
last of such levies made in England) the return of the assessment upon 
the Inhabitants of Blackburn Parish, for the third and fourth payments 
of the Subsidies, is copied as below from the Subsidy Roll,' 15 Chas. II.: — 

Balderstone — 

Alexander Osbaldeston, gent. , in terris 

Roger Berley, in terris ... 

Richard Ratcliffe, in bonis 

Richard Calvert, in bonis 


William Chew, of Olgreave, in bonis... 

William Holker, in bonis 

William Wood, in bonis 
Claytgn-in-le-Dale — 

Richard Walmesley, gent., in terris ... 

Richard Hawkesley, in bonis 

John Talbot, in bonis 

John Entwistle, in bonis 

Robert Tattersall, in bonis 

Darwen, Upper — ■ 

John Cross, in terris ... 

Robert Waddington, in bonis ... 

John Crouchley, in bonis 

William Yates, in bonis 
Darwen, Lower — 

Thomas Haworth, in terris 

Peter Haworth, junr., in bonis 

Robert Piccop, in bonis 

John Aspinall, in bonis 
Harwod Magna — 

— ■ Boulton, in bonis ... 

— Taylor, in bonis 

Edmund Cockshutt, in terris ... 

Robert ffeilden of Lower Town, in bonis 
Harwod Parva — 

John Clayton, gent. , in terris ... 

Thomas Rishton, in terris 

John Peele, in terris 

Richard Dewhurst, in bonis ... 


Ralph Livesey, Esq., in terris... 
Thomas Astley, in terris 
Richard Whitehalgh, in terris... 
William Marsden, in terris 
Lawrence Ainsworth, in bonis 
James Piccop, in bonis... 
William Walmsley, in bonis ... 

Richard Aspden, in bonis 

X Unaccountably, the township of Blackburn docs not appear upon the roll of this Subsidy. 







^3 los. 

1 8s. 8d. 

£3 los- 

1 8s. 8d. 


2:s. 4d. 


1 6s. 






26s. 8d. 


1 6s. 


1 6s. 


1 6s. 



;^3 los. 

18s. 8d. 

£3 'OS- 

i8s. 8d. 

£3 «Os. 

1 8s. 8d. 




26s. 8d. 


26s. 8d. 


21s. 4d. 


2 IS. 4d. 














26s. 8d. 







26s. 8d. 

los. 8d. 


2 IS. 4d. 


2ls. 6d. 

£3 los- 

18s. 8d. 


1 6s. 



Mellor-cum-Eccleshill — 

Edward Houghton, gent. , in terris . . . 

William Ward, in bonis 

Peter Ireland, in bonis... 

Richard Battersby, in bonis 

William Shorrocke, in bonis 

Thomas Haydocke, in bonis 


Alexander Osbaldeston, Esq., in terris 

Lawrence Osbaldeston, in terris 

Robert Boulton, in bonis 

John Sharpies, in bonis 

Pleasington — 

Thomas Aynesworth, in terris 

Thomas Livesay, in terris 

Gyles Astley, in terris 

Richard Aynsworth, in bonis 

Lawrence Abbat, in bonis 

Thomas Whaley, in bonis 


Thomas Whalley, in bonis 

Thomas Talbott, in bonis 

Christopher Hindle, in bonis 

William Berry, in bonis 

Christopher Duckworth, in bonis 

Robert Dewhurst, in bonis 

John Baron, in bonis 
Salesbury — 

John Parker, gent., in terris 

Samlesbury — 

John Southworth, Esq., in terris 

William Walmesley, gent., in terris ... 

James Livesay, in terris... 

John Holmes, in bonis 

George Hey, in bonis ... 

Thomas Smith, in bonis 

John Marsden, in bonis... 
Walton-in-le-Dale — 

Edward Walmesley, gent., in terris ... 

Thomas Walton, gent., in terris 

William Osbaldeston, in terris 

John Jackson, in terris 

John Woodcocke, junr. , in terris 

John Woodcocke, senr., in terris 

P'rancis Estham, in bonis 

William Dandy, in bonis 

Katharine Holland, in bonis 

Thomas Woodcocke, junr., in bonis ... 

Thomas Shaw, in bonis... 

Alice Gerrard, Widow, in bonis 






2 IS. 4d. 


2is. 4d. 


2 IS. 4d. 


26s. 8d. 


26s. 8d. 
















26s. 8d. 


2IS. 4d. 




1 6s. 





















26s. 8d. 


26s. 8d. 

£4 los. 


£4 5s- 

22s. 8d. 


1 6s. 






















1 6s. 






1 6s. 


1 6s. 




1 6s. 








1 6s. 




1 6s. 


1 6s. 






Roger Breers, in bonis ... 

James Waring, in bonis... 

William Duddell, in bonis 

Richard Tasker, in bonis 

James Walton, in bonis... 

Jane Estham, in bonis ... 

John Talbot, Esq., in terris 

Robert CoUinson, in bonis 

Thomas Blackburne, in bonis ... 

Thomas Craven, in bonis 

John Breeres, in bonis ... 

George Toulson, in terris 

Christopher Marsden, in bonis... 


The Government of Charles the Second did not cease from design- 
ing means for rendering the situation of persons dissenting from the 
Church of the State intolerable, hoping thus to exterminate all "sectaries," 
and to restore the national religion to at least external uniformity. The 
Act of 1662 not appearing to be effectual, it was supplemented by an 
"Act for Suppressing Conventicles," which came into force on the ist of 
July, 1664, and enacted that any person present at a meeting for religious 
exercises, " in other manner than is allowed by the Liturgy of the Church 
of England, where shall be five or more persons than the household," 
shall suffer three months' imprisonment, pr be fined ^^5, for the first 
offence, six months, or ;^io fine, for a second offence, and seven years' 
banishment to the American plantations, or jCioo fine, for a third 
offence." Those who lent their houses or bams for use as conventicles 
were mad.e liable to the same penalties. This Act was renewed, 
amended in the direction of greater stringency, in 1670. Next succeeded 
the "Five Mile Act," which obtained the Royal Assent Oct. 31st, 1665, 
The chief clause of this Act provided that " Nonconformist ministers 
shall not, after the sth of March, 1665-6, unless in passing the road, 
come or be within five miles of any city, town-corporate, or borough ; or 
within five miles of any parish, town or place wherein they have been 
parson, vicar, or lecturer, — upon forfeiture, for every such offence, of the 
sum of forty pounds, one-third to the King, another third to the poor, 
and a third to him that shall sue for it." 

In 167 1-2, matters assumed a somewhat more comfortable aspect for 
Nonconformists, for on the 15th March, of that year, Charles II. pub- 
lished a Declaration of Indulgence, in which, exercising his prerogative 
as supreme head of the Church, the Monarch " declared his will and 



pleasure to be, that the execution of all and all manner of penal laws in 
matters ecclesiastical, against whatsoever sort of nonconformists, or 
recusants, be immediately suspended." Upon the strength of this Royal 
declaration, the Government issued licenses to applicants for Noncon- 
formist preaching and meeting-houses. The registers of licenses granted 
in 1672 have recently been discovered among the national archives, and 
are now accessible in the Public Record Office. The following entries 
relate to licenses applied for and granted for preaching places in this 
district : — 
Licenses to Preach (No. 185. Record Off. St. Papers Dom. Chas. II. 1672).' 
License to John Harvie to be a Pr. [Presbyterian] Teacher in a meeting house in 
Tockley [Tockholes] erected for that purpose, in the Parish of Blackburn, Lancaster. 

1 May, '^2. 

The meeting house in Tockley [Tockholes] in the parish of Blackburn in Lan- 
cashire. Pr. [Presbyterian] Meeting. 8 May, '72. 

The house of John Horwood [or Harwood] in the Hundred of Blackburn, Lan- 
caster, licensed for a Congr. [Congregational] meeting place. 2 May, '72. 

Thomas JoUie to be a Congr. [Congregational] Teacher in his house at Wymond- 
houses in the Hundred of Blackburn, Lancaster. 2 May. 

The house of Thomas JoUie at the Wymond-houses in the Hundred of Blackburn, 
in Lancaster. Congr. meeting place. 2 May, '72. 

The house of Robert Whitaker in the Hundred of Blackburn, Lancaster. Congr. 
place. 2 May, '72. 

The house of Richard Cottham in the Hundred of Blackburn, Lancaster. Congr. 
place. 2 May, '72. 

The house of Richard Sagar in the Hund. of Blackburn, Lane. Congr. place. 

2 May, '72. 

[Sept 20.] A new built house on Langoe Green in Blackburn, Lancaster. 

[Dec. 9. ] An erected meeting house in Blackburn, in Lancash. Pr. [Presby- 
terian. ] 

Dec. 23, '72. A meeting place erected by the people adjoining to Langoe Greene 
in ye P'ish of Blackbome in Lancash. Congr. 

License to Charles Sagar Pr. [Presbyterian] Teacher of Blackbome, Lancashire. 
Feb. 3. 

The house of Thomas Anderton, at Samsbury. Pr. meeting place. 

The house of William and Henry Berry in Upper Darwin to be a Pr. [Presbyte- 
rian] meeting place. 

The bam of John Pickop in Dedwinclough [in Newchurch-in-Rossendale] to be 
an Indep. [Independent] meeting place. 

The house of John Durden in Yatebanke to be a Pr. meeting place. 

The house of John Harris in Withnell to be a Pr. meeting place. 

*• Within a year, the King was constrained by the resistance of Par- 
liament to the relaxation of statute law by the mere fiat of the Crown, to 

I These excerpts of the official records of Licenses granted for Nonconformist preaching-houses 
in the district in 1672, have been kindly communicated by Mr. J. E. Bailey, of Stretford, who has 
extracted the whole of the license-entries relating to Lancashire. Annals of the permanent Noncon- 
formist congregations afterwards established in the parish, and the meeting-houses built at Over 
Darwen, Tockholes, Walton, &c., will be inserted later under the respective townships. 



revoke his Declaration of Indulgence to Dissenters and Roman Catholics, 
and to suspend the licenses for places of worship which had been granted ; 
and measures of repression were passed by the authorities with more 
severity than before. Still, in spite of all, conformity was by no means 
universal. Local prosecutions of the Nonconforming ministers and 
their supporters were instituted in 1675, '" 1677, in 1678, and in 1679, 
in which the prime movers were Justices Nowell of Read and Ratcliffe 
of Mearley, and the chief sufferers Thomas Jollie, the Independent 
minister at Wymond-houses, near Clitheroe ; Charles Sagar of Blackburn, 
ex-Master of the Grammar School ; Mr. John Parr, preacher at Walton 
and Preston ; and several of their faithful communicants. The crisis of 
this sharp conflict between the relentless force of civil authority and the 
passive resistance of personal conviction equally inflexible and per- 
sistent, was reached in 1684, when the notorious Jeffreys, — whom 
history brands as the most unjust, venal, and cruel judge that ever sat 
upon an English Bench, — taking the Northern Circuit, had several of 
the Nonconformist preachers brought before him at Preston, and in- 
dulged his animosity by inflicting upon them the heaviest penalties law 
would permit. Less than five years after this visit to Lancashire, 
Jeffreys died a miserable death in the Tower of London, at the age of 
40, the object of universal contempt. 

Charles the Second died Feb. 6th, 1684-5, '^nd his brother, with 
the title of James II., succeeded. The rule of the second James was 
not more enlightened than that of former monarchs of his race. The 
term of the Stuart dynasty was now near its end. The nation, that had 
hailed its return to authority in 1660 with delight, had after a second 
probation of a quarter of a century become satiated with its caprice and 
estranged by its perverseness. Religious persecution was rife during the 
first two years of James the Second's reign ; but in April, 1687, the King (in 
the interest of his Roman Catholic co-religionists) published a Declaration 
of Liberty of Conscience to Nonconformists and Recusants. The relief 
was welcome to many who had borne the pressure of an intolerant policy 
for fourteen years since the cessation of the Indulgence of 1672, though 
the mode of it was disliked as arbitrary and illegal, and its motive sus- 

At length, in the last month of 1688, James the Second was driven 
from the throne and into exile, and William of Orange, who had come 
to England to place himself at the head of the Revolution, and his wife 
Mary, daughter of the ex-king, were invested with joint sovereignty with 
the titles of William III. and Mary I. 



Jacobite Trials at Manchester in 1694 — Antiquaries Tlioresby and Stukeley in East-Lancashire — ■ 
Distress in 1706 — Rebellion of 1715— Local Non-Jurors — Rebellion of 1745— Fate of Francis 
Towneiey — Visits of John Wesley— Early Textile Manufactures — Blackburn " Checks " and 
" Greys " — James Hargreaves of Stanhill— His invention of the Spinning-Frame— Popular 
jealousy — His house attacked and machines destroyed by the mob— Quits Blackburn and settles 
at Nottingham — His invention patented — Its specification — Other machines invented by Arkwright 
and Crompton — Death of Hargreaves — Rise of the Calico-printing industry — Claytons of Bamber 
Bridge— The Peel Family— Robert Peel of Hole-house— Peels of Peel Fold— Robert Peel of Peel 
Fold— His connexion with the Haworth Family— Resides in Fish Lane, Blackburn — Commences 
Calico-printing— Invents the parsley-leaf pattern — Partnership with William Yates — Brookside and 
Altham Factories destroyed by rioters — Robert Peel's removal to Burton — Subsequent enterprise 
of the Peels — Their local calico-printing concerns — Other print-works at Mosney in Walton, Mill 
Hill, and Darwen — Growth of the Factory System and popular resistance — Modem commercial 
development in the Parish— Road improvements, Canal, and Railroads. 

JACOBITE confederacies in England (or the suspicion of them), and 
a dynastic war in Ireland, disturbed the peace of the Kingdom 
during several years after the accession of the House of Orange, 
and chequered the general popular satisfaction with the constitutional 
changes effected by the Revolution of 1688. In the trial at Manchester, 
in 1694, of a number of influential Lancashire Jacobites indicted for 
conspiracy against the Government, one of the accused was Bartholomew 
Walmesley, Esq., of Dunkenhalgh Hall, lord of several manors within 
this parish. The witnesses for the Crown swore that Mr. Walmesley 
was sojourning at Dunkenhalgh in 1691-3, the date of the alleged con- 
spiracy ; but in the defence several witnesses of standing were brought 
to prove that Mr. Walmesley was then absent from the country. One 
Oliver Pearson, in a deposition taken after the trial in 1695, deposed 
that "about seven years ago he called at a house within a mile of Black- 
bum, where some gentlemen were drinking in an inner room, and the 
room door being open deponent enquired of some of the people of the 



house, who those gentlemen were, and answer was made that one of 
them was Mr. VValmesIey, which said Walmesley deponent took particular 
notice of, because there was then a great talk in the country of Mr. 
Walmesley of Dunkenhalgh coming to his estate ; and about four years 
ago deponent met the same Mr. Walmesley in Church-parish about 
three quarters of a mile from his house called Dunkenhalgh, on horse- 
back with two or three men of his company.'" But, on the other hand, 
Thomas Braddyll, Esq., of Portfield, a Justice of the Peace, had testified 
"that he lived within two or three miles from Dunkenhalgh, MnWalmesle/s 
house, and never heard that Mr. Walmesley was there since he left 
England in the year 1689, and verily believed that Mr. Walmesley and 
so many gentlemen with him could not have met there but that he (Mr. 
Braddyll), being so near a neighbour, should have heard something of it, 
which he affirmed he never did.'" The trial ended in the acquittal of all 
the accused gentlemen. 

The half century between 1700 and 1750 was comparatively barren 
of important local events. The commercial enterprise for which this 
with other divisions of the county has in recent times been noted, 
had hardly begun to develop before the first years of the second half of the 
eighteenth century. What this part of Lancashire was when William of 
Orange ascended the throne, that it remained in its social aspects 
throughout the reigns of William and Mary, Anne, and the two first 
Georges. It was a singularly unproductive era, in every department of 
action, in constitutional change, in the useful arts and mechanical 
sciences. Agriculture was unprogressive ; architecture was debased ; 
wealth did not advance greatly nor labour improve its oppressive con- 
dition ; the population did not increase, and the towns of Lancashire, as 
of every other part of England, hardly grew from year to year amid the 
general stagnation. The local annalist finds little to dwell upon in the 
period I have mentioned ; and what few incidents present theriiselves 
may be summarily noted. 


In the autumn of 1702, Ralph Thoresby, the Leeds antiquary, 
performed a journey through the Hundred of Blackburn with the object 
of observing the antiquities of the district, and of visiting his learned 
friends, Charles and Richard Towneley, Esqrs., of Towneley. It was 
the Guild year at Preston, and one purpose of Thoresby's tour was to 
witness the quaint pageantry of the Preston Guild. The antiquary 
reached Towneley on Sept. ist. In his Diary he notes the numerous 

1 Beamont's Jacobite Trials at Manchester (Chet. Soc. Series), p. 74. 2 lb. p. 100. 



curious matters he saw at Towneley Hall, which included some valuable 
philosophic appliances and scientific instruments ; " a chariot of Mr. 
Towneley's own contrivance, to pass over these mountainous tracts of 
stones ;" the collection of original letters of Christopher To^vneley, the 
antiquary, Gascoigne, Crabtree, and Horrocks, the eminent mathemati- 
cians of the previous century ; the " ancient manuscripts in the 
library," and " curious modern prints ;" also " Mr. Towneley's own pedi- 
gree upon skins of parchment, with the matches, &c., blazoned, and the 
old short deeds inserted," which he speaks of as " most noble and curious, 
and attested by the King-at-Anns, being drawn from original writings," 
&c. From Towneley, Thoresby continued his journey through Burnley, 
Padiham, and Blackburn, to Preston, his destination. He writes : — 

We returned to Burnley, and thence, in our way to Padiam, or Padingham, we 
had a distant prospect of Hapton Tower [now long levelled] which stands melancholy 
upon the mountains on the left-hand, and Towneley Royal [Royle] on the right. We 
stepped aside to see Lady Shuttleworth's turretted house at Gawthorp. Thence, by 
Altham Church, to which only one house in view, though more afterwards at a dis- 
tance, through Dunkenhalgh, which has nothing remarkable but the hall of Mr. 
Walmesley, which seems considerable, but, like most seats of the gentry in these parts, 
has so many outbuildings before it, as spoils the prospect. Thence to Blackburn, a 
market-town, which gives name to the whole Hundred, the third of the six in Lan- 
cashire ; here, while the dinner was preparing, we viewed the church and town, but 
found nothing remarkable as to the modem state. Of old, William the Conqueror 
gave Blackburnshire to the Ilbert de Lacy, grandfather of Henry Lacy, who built 
Kirkstal Abbey, anno 1159. Thence by Hoghton Tower, which gave name and 
habitation to an eminent and ancient family ; Sir Charles Hoghton is the present 
possessor ; its situation is remarkable, being upon a very steep hill, almost a precipice 
on three sides, and so high that it is seen at many miles distance. Then through 
Walton, which seems to have been a Roman station, and where we are told the noted 
Kelly [the alchemist] was bom, but it is now chiefly famous for the manufacture of 
linen-cloth ; we saw vast quantities of yarn whiting [bleaching]. In the vale we saw 
another good house [Walton Hall] that belongs to a younger branch of the family of 
I loghton Tower. ' 

A few years later, another antiquary visited the district. This was 
Dr. Stukeley, author of the Itinerarium Curiosuni, who, in the summer of 
1725, travelled the northern and western parts of England in company 
with Roger Gale, the York antiquary. Besides the important Ribchester 
references (previously cited), Stukeley has left some topographical 
observations on the district generally. He describes Pendle Hill as "a 
vast black mountain, which is the morning weather-glass of the country 
people : upon it grows the cloudberry plant." He also speaks of Hoghton 
Tower, visible in the distance ; Salesbury Hall, and the river scenery 
thereabouts ; in the subjoined passages : — " Haughton Tower is within 
view, a great castle upon a precipitous hill. . . Above the town [Rib- 

1 Diary of Ralph Thoresby, v. i, pp. 386-9. 




Chester] half a mile is a noble bridge of four very large arches, built 
lately by the country [county] ; over this I went to Salesbury ; but all 
the inscriptions are carried away, probably to Mr. Warren's other seat 
near Stockport, in Cheshire. I found a large stone in the corner of the 
house, which has been a Roman monumental stone, foolishly placed 
there for the sake of the carving ; there are three large figures upon it, 
sweetly performed, &c. [This was the stone removed from Salesbury 
Hall by Dr. Whitaker, in 1814, and bequeathed by him to St. John's 
College, Cambridge.] . . This [Salesbury Hall] has been a very 
large seat, with a park. They told me there were some carved stones 
at Dinkley, another seat of Mr. Warren's, a mile further ; but I found 
they were all carried elsewhere, save two altars, both obliterated, but 
well cut ; one stood in a grass-plot in the garden, covered over with 
moss and weeds ; another used in the house as a cheese-press. This is 
a romantic place, hanging over the river purling across the rocky falls, 
and covered with wood. The late Mr. Warren was very careful of these 
learned remnants."^ 

A petition, forwarded, in 1706, by the inhabitants of Blackburn to 
the House of Commons, and mentioned by Whittle, illustrates the im- 
poverished condition of the country. The petitioners represented that 
in Blackburn " people were seen walking their desolate streets, hanging 
down their heads under disappointment, wormed out of all branches of 
their trade, uncertain what hand to turn, and necessitated to become 
apprentices to their unkind neighbours, and yet, after all, finding their 
old trade so fortified by companies and secured by prescriptions, that 
they despaired of any success therein."" The system of restriction by 
which all trades were surrounded in those days could not receive a more 
decisive condemnation than is contained in the foregoing statement. 


The year 1 7 1 5 is memorable for the rebellious outbreak of the 
Stuart or Jacobite party, after twenty-five years of uneasy submission to 
the dynasty established on the throne by the Revolution of 1688. In 
October of that year the army raised in Scotland by the Chevalier and 
the Scottish nobility who supported his claims entered England, under 
the command of the Earl of Derwentwater and General Eorster, the 
latter an English Jacobite. The invaders entered Preston on the 9th 
and loth of November, and on the 12th were attacked by the royal 
anny under the command of General Wills. On Sunday, the 13th, the 
force under General Carpenter, which had marched down Ribblesdale 
out of Yorkshire, united in the attack, and on the 14th the rebels, being 

1 Itin. Curios., V. ii, pp. 37-8. 2 Blackburn as it U, p. 217. 


completely surrounded, surrendered. Thus the attempt to overthrow 
the Brunswick dynasty was speedily suppressed. 

At this crisis, the Protestant Nonconformists of Lancashire zealously 
took up arms in defence of the House of Hanover, and a body of male 
members of neighbouring Nonconformist congregations, armed with 
muskets, pikes, and scythes, marched under the leadership of two of 
their ministers, Mr. James Woods of Chowbent and Mr. Walker, to 
Walton-in-le-Dale, some hours in advance of the regular army, and held 
the Ribble Bridge and Walton village without being attacked by the 
Rebels until the arrival of General Wills. For this bold service Mr. 
Woods and Mr. Walker were both rewarded with grants or pensions 
from the Government, on the recommendation of General Wills. 

During the few days that the insurgents occupied Preston, before 
their surrender, small detachments penetrated into Ribblesdale, in search 
of forage. One party of Rebels appears to have crossed the southern 
portion of Blackburn Parish, by Tockholes to Darwen ; for after the 
restoration of peace the Nonconformist minister at Darwen claimed and 
obtained compensation from the Government for damage suffered by the 
depredation of the Rebels. The people of the town and parish ,of 
Blackburn displayed hearty loyalty on the occasion ; and after it was 
known at Blackburn that the Rebels had occupied Preston, the inhabi- 
tants "prepared to defend themselves from the invaders with guns, 
clubs, pikes, and scythes. They were headed by one Captain Aynesworth, 
of Pleasington. The entrances to the town were barricaded ; and, to 
stimulate their loyalty, the Rev. John Holme, the Vicar, assembled 
the inhabitants in the Parish Church, addressed them, and offered up 
prayers for the welfare of the Brunswick family." Whittle also notes 
that " Captain Douglas made a sally out of Preston as far as Balderstone, 
in search of arms and horses for the Rebel army, but could not obtain 
any. He entered Blackburn as a [pretended] friend of the Brunswick 
family, but was discovered at the Dun Horse Inn, and had to beat a 
hasty retreat, but escaped. '"^ This Captain Robert Douglas was a notori- 
ous Borderer, in command of a Northumbrian troop of Border freebooters. 
He was previously celebrated for his Border forays. He was taken 
prisoner in the Rebel surrender at Preston, but escaped from the gaol of 
Liverpool or Chester, and returned to the North, much to the disgust of 
the Border farmers who had suffered from his predations. 

The many Scottish and English noblemen and gentlemen captured 
on the surrender were lodged, pending trial, in all the prisons of the 
county. The peers were impeached before the House of Lords for high 
treason, and convicted. Two of them — the Earl of Derwentwater and 

X Blackburn as it Is, p. loi. 



Lord Kenmore — suffered decapitation on Tower-hill; the rest escaped the 
capital penalty. The other generals and inferior officers, to the number 
of forty-nine, were tried by courts-martial. Forty-seven were subsequently 
executed, of whom sixteen were hanged at Preston, four at Garstang, 
others at Manchester, Wigan, Liverpool, and Lancaster. In this insur- 
rection several of the Roman Catholic gentry and other natives of Black- 
burn Hundred had been led to participate. Richard Towneley, Esq., of 
Towneley, and Mr. William Walmesley, of Showley in Clayton-in-le-Dale, 
were the most noteworthy of the local Jacobites taken at Preston. Both 
these gentlemen were put upon their trial on the capital charge, but 
both, by an exceptional good fortune, were acquitted. The names also 
appear in the record of Thomas Cowpe, of VValton-in-le-Dale, yeoman, 
executed at Preston, Jan. 27th, 1715-16; William Harris, of Burnley, 
Stephen Seager, of Burnley, and Joseph Porter, of Burnley, all of them 
followers of Mr. Towneley, executed at Manchester, in February, 
1715-16; also James Finch, of Walton-in-le-Dale, labourer, executed at 
Wigan ; and William Whalley, of Walton-in-le-Dale, whitster, executed 
at Wigan, Feb. loth. 

As those Englishmen who had overtly taken part with the Scottish 
lords and gentry in the rising of 1 7 1 5 were chiefly Roman Catholics, 
one of the consequences of the suppression of the Rebellion was a dis- 
position on the part of the Government to treat the Roman Catholic 
portion of the nation with increased harshness, as persons dangerous to 
the public security. With the object of enabling the Government to lay 
its hands with more facility upon Roman Catholics and their possessions 
in the event of a renewal of rebellious attempts, an order was issued 
commanding all Catholic and Non-juring landowners to register state- 
ments of the extent and value of their estates. Those were styled "Non- 
Jurors" who had refused to take the oath of allegiance to his Majesty 
King George the First. These returns were to be transmitted to the 
" Commissioners for forfeited Estates in England and Wales ;" and they 
were published, to assist in the discovery of seditious persons, during the 
Rebellion of 1745. The registered Non-Jurors residing in Blackburn 
Parish are extracted from the list as follows : — 

The Names op Roman Catholics, Non-jurors, &c., 1715: — John Cowell, 
of Walton, £6 5s. ; John Gerrard, of Walton, — ; Edward Eastham, Estate at 
Walton, in possession of Richard Fielding, £,f) los. ; James Coupe, of Walton, — ; 
Thomas Catterall, of Walton, — ; John Sherrington, of Walton, — ; John Cottam, 
of Ribchester, £y\ 5s. 8d. ; Elizabeth Duckworth, Estate at Richton [Rishton], 
in possession of George Haworth, £?> 12s. ; Thoma.s Bolton, Estate at Bil- 
lington, in possession of Wm. Gabbot, £\2; Robert Brindle, of Samlesbury, £^ 17s. 
James Turner, of Samlesbury, £(> los. ; Margaret Turner, of .Samlesbury, — ; Hugh 
Walmesley of Samlesbury, — ; James Woodcock, of Walton, /^I2 ; William Orain, 


of Walton, — ; John Burscough, of Walton, ^20; Matthew Worthington, of Walton, 
jj2 5s. 6d. ; William Gregson, of Samlesbury, £g; Thomas High, of Samlesbury, — ; 
John Wilcock, of Balderston, ;f2i ; John Adkinson, of Walton, — ; William Moulden, 
of Samlesbury, ;^5 i8s. ; Ann Cocker, of Samlesbury, jC$ ; Ann Blackbume, of Bil- 
lington, — ; Richard Craven, of Billington, — ; Richard Wilson, of Osbaldeston, — ; 
John Jackson, of Balderston, ;if ri los. ; John Bolton — Estate at Walton, in possession 
of Thomas Billinge, £^0 5s. ; Robert Osbaldeston, of Billington, ;£'i4 ; Richard 
Cunliffe, of Harwood Magna, — ; John Woodcock, of Walton, ^20 ; John Jackson, 
of Walton-in-le-Dale, ;^So8s.; George Gregson, of Walton, ;^3; Hugh Heatley, of 
Samlesbury, £4 5s. ; James Dilworth, of Samlesbury, £6 5s. ; Henry liarwen, of Bal- 
derston, — ; Edward Osbaldeston, of Cuerdale, — ; Elizabeth Bolton — Estate at Sales- 
bury, in possession of Richard Wood, £2^ 12s. 

The last Jacobite Rebellion makes notable the year 1 745. Prince 
Charles Edward Stuart entered Preston with his Highlanders on the 27th 
of November. The clansmen, impressed by the fact that on two former 
invasions, in 1648 and 1715, the Scottish army had been arrested and 
conquered at Preston, deemed this the critical stage of their march, and 
fancied the river Ribble was the fated limit of Scottish invasions. Sir 
Walter Scott states that " to counteract the superstition. Lord George 
[Murray] led a part of his troops across the Ribble-bridge, a mile 
beyond Preston. The spell which arrested the progress of the Scottish 
troops was thus supposed to be broken." From his quarters at Preston, 
the young Pretender despatched letters to the English Jacobite gentry, 
conjuring them to join his standard. The appeal evoked but a feeble 

In Lancashire, where the adherents of the Stuarts had once included 
almost the whole of the nobility and many other old landed families, 
the Jacobite fervour had so much subsided, and the acceptance of the 
Hanoverian succession was so general, that excepting Francis Towneley, 
a younger son of Charles Towneley, Esq., and two or three citizens of 
Manchester, no significant accessions to the abettors of the insurrection 
were made during the passage through this county. Edward, eleventh 
Earl of Derby, was the most active of the county nobles in the promo- 
tion of measures for resisting the Stuart invasion on this occasion. 
About two months before the Rebel occupation of Preston, when it was 
known that the Pretender's son would venture into England, the Earl of 
Derby had called a County Meeting at the Town Hall of Preston, to 
which the representatives of the best families of Lancashire came in 
great numbers, when the Earl had proposed the formation of a Defen- 
sive Association, to raise a force of 5,000 men ; and in accordance with 
this resolution a large militia force had been mustered, which was dis- 
posed in garrisons in the chief towns. Blackburn, and the other towns 
in Blackburn Hundred, had armed a number of citizens in response 


to the call of the Government, and two companies of Blackburn militia 
were marched to Lord Derby at Manchester to serve in defensive 

Prince Charles Edward advanced to Manchester, where about three 
hundred Lancashire recruits were embodied as the Manchester Regiment, 
with Francis Towneley as colonel. Thence the forward march was 
continued to Derby, and then it was found necessary to commence a 
retreat. The Rebels were back in Manchester by December 9th ; and 
on the 1 2th, at nine o'clock in the morning, after a night march, the 
dejected clansmen of the Stuart's army arrived at Preston. There 
was a very short pause in the retreat at Preston, for now the Duke 
of Cumberland's troopers were but a few miles in the rear. Throughout 
Friday, December 12th, the Rebels straggled through the town. It was 
the design of General Oglethorpe, — who with a body of horse detached 
from Marshal Wade's army, despite severe winter weather had performed 
the distance from Doncaster to Preston in three days, traversing the 
mountain roads from West Yorkshire into Blackburn Hundred,— to over- 
take the Rebels on the Ribble ; but having failed by a few hours in the 
attempt to intercept the insurgents at this point, Oglethorpe rested his 
dragoons at Preston a short time, and the pursuit slackened somewhat. 
Prince Charles, however, did not loiter. Within six days after leaving 
Preston his troops had gained Carlisle on the morning of December 
1 9th. The men of the Manchester Regiment had deserted in numbers 
while marching past their homes in Lancashire, and on reaching Carlisle 
it was found that Colonel Towneley's command had been reduced by 
these desertions from 300 to 114 men. Towneley and his men, with 
about 270 Scots, were left as a garrison in Carlisle, while the Prince 
retreated into Scotland with the main body of Rebels. The Duke of 
Cumberland presently arrived at Carlisle and invested the city. The 
small Rebel garrison was soon forced to surrender. Its commander, 
Colonel Towneley, was sent to London, and lay in Newgate until his trial 
for high treason in July, 1 746. He was convicted, and executed with 
others on Kennington Common, July 30th. 


The earliest visits of John Wesley, the Father and Founder of 
Methodism, to this Parish and Hundred constitute noteworthy inci- 
dents in the history of a generally dull and obscure period of the local 
chronology. Wesley appears from his own record of his journeyings to 
have made at least twenty distinct visits to North East Lancashire. 
These visits extended over a period of about forty-three years, from 1 747 
down to 1790, the year before Wesley's death, and to the following 


tovTis and villages in the Hundred : — Blackburn, Lower Darvven, Over 
Danven, Walton-in-le-Dale, Chipping, Ribchester, Burnley, Padiham, 
Southfield (Marsden), Colne, Rough Lee in Pendle Forest, Bacup, New- 
church, and Haslingden. In each of these places Methodist societies 
were subsequently established. In 1747-8, the town of Colne and the 
hamlet of Rough Lee in Pendle Forest were the scenes of Wesley's mis- 
sionary labour and of his persecution by the mob. In April, 1751, 
Wesley rode through Darwen and Blackburn on his way from Bolton 
to Ribchester and Chipping, but did not tarry in either of those towns 
to preach. Wesley made the same journey from Bolton to Chipping 
through Blackburn parish in 1753. About five years later, John Nelson, 
one of Wesley's most active travelling preachers, came to Lower Darwen, 
in this parish, and set on foot the first Methodist Society hereabouts. 
Ralph Haworth, yeoman, resident in Lower Darwen, and his sons were 
among the earliest adherents. John Haworth, one of Ralph's sons, 
heard Nelson preach, and became a convert to Methodism. His brothers 
shortly followed his example. In the Methodist Magazine for 181 2, 
appears a biographical notice of Mr. John Haworth, written by his son, 
the Rev. William Haworth, who became a minister in the Connexion. 
Mr. William Haworth writes : — " My late father was born near 
Blackburn, in Lancashire, August 28th, 1730. His parents were per- 
sons of some property. They were sober and steady, and regularly 
attended the Established Church. . . In the year 1758 the Methodist 
Preachers came, for the first time, into that part of the country where 
he lived. The late Mr. John Nelson was the first Methodist preacher 
he heard." One James Oddie formed a Methodist society or class in the 
village of Lower Danven, which John Haworth, his father and three 
brothers, joined. The class met in the outset at the house of the 
Haworths, and numbered several persons from Blackburn. "At that 
time," adds Mr. William Haworth, " the little society met with much 
opposition. But they stood their ground ; they were closely united 
together. . . When the society was first formed, my fathers brother- 
in-law was the leader ; but, after some time, he removed to another 
place, at a distance, and my father was appointed the leader in his 
place ; and he continued in this important office till within a short time 
of his death." 

In 1759 the recently- formed society in Lower Darwen was stimu- 
lated by a visit from Wesley hitnself, who travelled this road from 
Bolton to Lancaster to look in upon his little band of adherents on the 
outskirts of Blackburn. Wesley preached at Lower Darwen on this 
occasion, but not at Blackburn — perhaps fearing to encounter violent 
prejudices in the town. The journal entry of the visit is ;—" 1759. 



Wednesday, May 9. — I preached at Bolton, and on Friday, the nth, 
about 9 [o'clock], at Lower Dai-ment, a small village near Blackburn." It 
was not long before Wesley favoured the Methodists at Lower Darwen 
by a second visit. Mr. Grimshaw, incumbent of Haworth, was with 
Wesley in this journey, and both these great preachers preached at 
Lower Darwen, Mr. Wesley in the evening of one day, and Mr. Grim- 
shaw on the ensuing morning, having spent the night there. Wesley 
writes: — "1761. Thursday, April 16th. — After preaching at noon [at 
Bolton], I rode to Lower Danven, near Blackburn, where a large 
congregation behaved with deep seriousness. Leaving honest Mr. 
Grimshaw to preach in the morning, I set out early, and in the evening 
reached a little quiet house a few miles beyond Kendal." 

In the centre of the village of Lower Darwen is an old yeoman's 
house, and on the opposite side of the road a barn of equal antiquity. 
The lintel of a door in the barn bears the date, " 1691," and the initials 
" W. H. M." In this old barn, according to tradition in the village, 
John Wesley preached on one or other of his earlier visits to Lower 

Although John Wesley rode through Blackburn on his way from 
Lower Darwen to Lancaster, on Saturday, May loth, 1759, and again 
on Friday, April 17th, 1761, he did not halt to preach in the town on 
either of these occasions. It is likely that the Blackburn people were 
rather influenced against Methodism up to this time. Between the 
years 1778 and 1780, a small band of adherents in the town had formed 
a society, and opened a temporary preaching-house. At length, affairs 
being rendered propitious, the Founder of Methodism came to Black- 
bum for the purpose of preaching to the people. The visit was an event 
of great local interest. The repute of Wesley was now so high, that the 
most respectable of the inhabitants of Blackburn were glad of the oppor- 
tunity of seeing him, and hearing his exhortations. Wesley gives in his 
Journal a note of the encouraging reception he had on this appearance 
at Blackburn: — "May 27th, 1780. I preached in Todmorden Church 
with great enlargement of heart. In the afternoon we went to Black- 
burn. It seemed the whole town was moved. But the question was 
where to put the congregation. We could not stand abroad because of 
the sun, so as many as could squeezed into the preaching-house. All 
the chief men of the town were there. It seemed as if the last will be 
first." In the following year Wesley was again invited to Blackburn to 
preach at the opening of the first Methodist Chapel erected in the town. 
The subsequent annals of the Methodist denomination in Blackburn 
and Darwen, and other places in the parish, will be inserted hereafter 
in the separate accounts of townships. 



That great Cotton Trade, without which four-fifths of the people of 
Lancashire could not subsist in their present dwelling-place, has a history 
as interesting as any of the developments of human energy the world has 
witnessed. But it is not within the limits of these pages to traverse all 
the stages of that history, or to enter with minuteness into the details of 
the changes and processes by which the manufacture has been brought 
to its present perfection, and the commerce to its existing proportions. 
The Cotton Trade has not lacked annalists, who have placed upon 
record the facts of its origin and extension. The present writer has only 
to narrate some of the circumstances by which the advance of inven- 
tive art as applied to this large industry is associated with the careers of 
inventors and pioneers in enterprise, the scene of whose work was the 
town of Blackburn or its vicinity. 

Blackburn, — or, rather, the district of which the town of Blackburn 
is the centre, — has long been noted for the production of certain 
specialities of textile manufacture. The old itineraries and gazetteers 
do not fail to mention, with exact iteration, that Blackburn had a name 
for the manufacture in succession of two particular kinds of cloths, — 
first, the " Blackburn Checks," and, secondly, the " Blackburn Greys." 
It is nowhere stated, however, at what date and in what manner the first 
of these manufactures was introduced into the Blackburn district, and 
became its chief important handicraft. Whether the art and mystery of 
check-weaving was imported hither by foreign craftsmen in exile, or was 
of local origin and invention, is left to speculation. So long ago as the 
reign of Elizabeth, Blackburn, Colne, and other places in East Lanca- 
shire, were the seats of a manufacture of textiles called "cottons," friezes, 
&c., that were subject to the statutory regulations of alnage, and the town 
of Blackburn was one of the places to which the Alnager, or Govern- 
ment officer who had to measure, and by sealing to certify these fabrics, 
periodically came to supervise the manufacture. These Elizabethan 
" cottons," were not made of the cotton fibre, but of wool, as is proved 
by the mention of their subjection to the milling and friezing processes, 
applicable only to woollens. There was a considerable local manu- 
facture of linen cloths in the reign of Charles L' The Blackburn 
" check " manufacture is supposed to have first sprung up in the time 
of the Commonwealth, between 1650 and 1660. The checked cloths 

I A statement dated April, 1635, under the hands of three eminent local Justices, Sir Gilbert 
Hoghton, and Thomas Walmesley and William Farrington, Esqrs., sets forth that flax was then an 
article " so frequently used in the County of Lancaster, that if it be taken away all the poorer sort of 
people who live by spinning and weaving of Linen Clothes [cloths] only all yeare long (except in the 
time of harvest) will be forced to begge," &c. This proves the extent of cottage spinning and weaving 
in the district, so early as the year 1635. 




made here consisted of a linen warp and a cotton woof, one or both of 
which being dyed in the thread gave to the piece when woven a striped 
or checked appearance. Fabrics of a small blue and white check 
continued to be made in East Lancashire, and were extensively worn 
by the working people as shirts and aprons, imtil recently. 

The appended petition of clothiers in this parish, for redress and 
protection against the violent seizure of their wares at Preston by agents 
of the monopolist trading companies of that borough, indicates the 
activity of the manufacture of cloth and the enterprise of the local chap- 
men. The petition bears no date, but by the names inserted and the 
caligraphy of the original is proved to belong to the period between 
1660 and 1680. 

To the Right Worshipful the Justices of Peace and Quonim in the County of Lancas- 
ter. — The humble peticion of some of the inhabitants within Great Harwood, Billington, 
Whalley, and Rishton, beeinge Clothiers, humbly sheweth : — That whereas your said 
peticioners or some of them have come to Preston to the Market there with Cloath to 
sell of their and their servants makeing for the space of fiffty yeares and upwards, 
and had free liberty to sell theire said Cloath in the said Towne without any molesta- 
cion or trouble by any of the Inhabitants thereof or any other person whatsoever, 
untill within this two yeares and under. That some of your said peticioners being in 
the said Towne and in open Markett had their Cloath taken from them in a forcible 
manner by Thomas Loxam and John Cadman, both Inhabitants of the said Towne, 
and kept by the said Loxam and Cadman from your said peticioners eight or tenn 
weekes together, which putt some of your peticioners to great cost in comeing to the 
Towne many times and makeing best friends they could before they gott their Cloath 
againe, besids the benefitt of soe many Markett dayes as your said peticioners Cloath 
laye out of their hands, which hath beene a hinderance to some of your peticioners 
for makeing Cloath which make many poore people want worke which have been 
accustomed to work and bee employed in such tradinge. And your peticioners or 
some of them which have been thus troubled, being not able to try out the reason of 
this theire trouble and greevance, doe humbly desire your Worshipps to take the 
premisses into consideracion that such course may be taken that your said peti- 
cioners may have free liberty and accesse to and in the said Towne and Markett. And 
your peticioners as in duty bound shall ever praye, &c. 

Lawrance Hindle Edward Baron 

James Harwood Richard Dobson 

WiLLM. Wigan Law. Robertshey 

John Baron Robert Pollard 

Matthias Taylor John Pollard 

Myles Aspinall 
John Hindle 
Adam Hall 
Robert ffeilden 

At the beginning of the last century many of the inhabitants of 
Blackburn town and parish gained a livelihood by plying the hand-loom, 
in the weaving of linen, woollen, and mixed cloths. Thoresby, in a pas- 
sage of his Diary already quoted, writing in 1702, speaks of Walton-in-le- 
Dale (probably the Bamber Bridge end of the township) as then " famous 
for the manufacture of linen cloth," and says he saw " vast quantities of 


yarn whiting," or bleaching, in the fields there. In the year 1 748, the 
Vicar of Colne sought to incite popular enmity against the Methodist.s 
by declaring the effect of the new religion would be to destroy the 
" Manufactory in and about Colne." In the town of Blackburn tokens 
of the manufacture are given in a list of tenants of the Vicar's Glebe, 
about the year 1720, when upon that small estate of about 100 acres 
were several tenants of houses with "yam crofts" adjoining. A more 
definite indication of the prevalence of this industry is afforded by 
entries in the Blackburn Parish Registers. From 1720 to 1750 a large 
proportion of the names in these registers have the affixes of " webster," 
and "weaver," and "fustian webster." For example, in the year 1723, 
out of 149 entries of baptisms, 68 were children of weavers, and 81 of 
parents of all other occupations ; and of 60 entries of burials, the 
names of 34 heads of families have the employment of " weaver " assigned. 
The trade must therefore have been widely diffused at that time. The yarns 
used in the weaving of the Blackburn checks would need to be dyed 
prior to being taken by the weavers ; and that the dyeing process, also, 
was done upon the spot, is shown by the title of " dyer " appended to a 
few names in the same Registers, 

Before the middle of last century, the " checks " had to a great 
extent given place to the " Blackburn Greys," as the leading textile 
manufacture of the district. The " greys," like the " checks," were a 
mixed fabric of linen and cotton ; the difference being that the " greys " 
were woven, as the calico is now, without the yams being dyed previ- 
ously. They were made to meet the demand of the public for printed 
goods, and were sent to be finished to London, where the art of printing 
the linen and cotton mixtures had been developed to a large extent. 

The antecedents of the old Lancashire hand-loom are obscure. 
Who brought it hither, and by what makers the early weavers had their 
"shops" provided with this clumsy wooden machine, cannot be stated. 
The hand-loom of 1 730 was even a ruder contrivance in some essential 
respects than the old-fashioned structure still seen in the cottages of 
Mellor and Blacksnape. A useful improvement was applied to the loom 
by John Kay, of Bury, who in the year 1738 produced the "fly-shuttle" 
instead of the method previously practised by the weaver of throwing 
the shuttle from hand to hand. The " fly-shuttle " and " picking-peg " 
improvement is said to have enabled the Lancashire weaver to double 
his former production by the facility of its movement, as well as to weave 
wider webs. This enhanced speed, however, led to a difficulty, for it 
was found that the female spinster with her wheel and spindle could no 
longer keep pace with the demand for yarn of the weaver. The " fly- 
shuttle " was thus the parent of the " spinning-jenny," and that was the 


precursor of an unended series of improvements in spinning and weaving 


It was to the ingenuity of an intelligent weaver Hving in the neigh- 
bourhood of Blackburn that the conception of a machine for the spinning 
of yam is attributed. James Hargreaves, about the year 1764, was 
living in a cottage at the hamlet of Stanhill, situate on the hill-ridge 
that bounds the township of Oswaldtwistle on the north. Stanhill is 
about two miles to the eastward of Blackburn. James Hargreaves had 
seen that Kay's improvement of the hand-loom deranged the economy 
of the weaver's trade by leaving the spinster with her wheel behind-hand. 
Mr. John Wyatt, of Birmingham, had shortly before patented a machine 
for spinning by rollers ; but there is no evidence that this process was 
known to the weavers of Lancashire, when Hargreaves directed his 
attention to the means of increased expedition in the spinning depart- 
ment. Another ingenious man, Thomas Highs, of Leigh, appears to 
have been working at a design of his own for a new spinning frame, 
simultaneously with the secret labours of Hargreaves in this direction. 

Prior to his conception of the spinning frame, Hargreaves had 
brought out an improvement in the stock cards, which displaced the 
hand cards formerly used for cleaning and straightening-out the cotton- 
fibres in the process preparatory for spinning it. The old hand-caid was 
a sort of brush made of fine wires closely placed in a piece of leather. 
Hargreaves's stock-card was in its turn improved upon in the cylinder 
carder, which was introduced into Lancashire about the year 1760. It 
is stated that Mr. Robert Peel, having heard of the carding cylinder, and 
got a notion of its construction, obtained the assistance of his neighbour 
Hargreaves in making a cylinder for use in his own spinning factory, 
then recently established at Brookside, Oswaldtwistle. 

A couple of years Hargreaves spent in working out his idea of a 
more expeditious mechanical operation for the spinning of yam. 
His first frame was put together secretly in his own house. The year 
1767 was named by Richard Arkwright, a rival inventor, as the date of 
the introduction of Hargreaves's machine to the public. There is 
evidence, however, that the machine was completed, and had been 
purchased by various parties, two years before that date. The first 
spinning-frame Hargreaves made was kept for the use of his household, 
and answered its purpose fully. Some months elapsed before he was 
disposed to make other machines on the same model for sale. The 
machine was christened the " Spinning Jenny," either by Hargreaves 
and his family, or by the weavers of the neighbourhood who became 



acquainted with its performances. The original machine is described 
as a wooden frame, having at one end eight rovings placed in a row, 
and in another part a row of eight spindles. The rovings when extended 
to the spindles, passed between two horizontal bars of wood, forming a 
clasp, which opened and shut somewhat like a parallel ruler ; when 
pressed together this clasp held the threads fast. A certain portion of 
roving being extended from the spindle to the wooden clasp, the clasp 
was closed, and was then drawn along the horizontal frame to a 
considerable distance from the spindles, by which the threads were 
lengthened out, and reduced to the proper tenuity ; this was done with 
the spinnefs left hand, and his right hand at the same time turned a 
wheel, which caused the spindles to revolve rapidly, and thus the roving 
was spun into yam. By returning the clasp to its first situation, and 
letting down a presser wire, the yarn was wound upon the spindle. 

Between the years 1764 and 1767, Hargreaves had made several of 
his " jennies," and had privately sold some of them to his neighbours 
who had enterprise enough to purchase such a machine. For a time the 
"jennies" were in good request by such weavers as could afford to get 
them, and did not excite jealousy on the part of others less thrifty. But 
when it was seen that the new machines were likely to come into common 
use, and to dispense with a good deal of female labour at the ordinarj' 
spinning-wheel, the antagonism of the populace became roused. The 
cottage spinsters began to look upon the invention as a mischievous 
innovation. Mr. Peel's new spinning mill at Brookside had been supplied 
with "jennies," and it was found that Capital, with its new-fangled appli- 
ances, would drive unfurnished Labour out of the market. The resentful 
spirit of the people against the inventor and his invention reached such 
a pitch in the year 1 768, that it betrayed itself in acts of lawless violence. 
On a fixed day in the Spring of that year, parties of weavers from Dar- 
wen, Mellor, Tockholes, and Oswaldtwistle assembled in Blackburn, and 
were joined by a body of Blackburn craftsmen, forming together a mob 
of some hundreds of persons. In those days there were neither police 
nor soldiery in Blackburn at hand to disperse rioters and to protect 
obnoxious citizens. A tradition goes that the rioters, whose design was 
to march to Oswaldtwistle, to sack the cottage of Hargreaves and to 
demolish the factory of Peel, halted at the " Cross," in Blackburn (at 
the junction of Church-street with Darwen-street), and obtained refresh- 
ment at the inns that lay convenient. Having done this, the mob pro- 
ceeded along the Burnley-road to Furthergate, and there turned off by a 
bye-road, on the line of the present Accrington-road, to Knuzden, and 
thence to Stanhill. Hargreaves and his family had doubtless heard of 
the intended attack, and had quitted the homestead, else it is likely 


that they would have been roughly handled. The rioters burst into the 
cottage, found the "jenny" used by the family, and broke it up. The 
inventor's looms shared the same fate, and the house itself, with what- 
ever furniture it contained, was also demolished. From Stanhill the 
machine-breakers went to Brookside, about half a mile distant, and did 
not desist from their purpose until they had reduced to wreck the mill of 
Mr. Peel, with all its machinery, including the "jennies" in use there, 
and other mechanical appliances of which the proprietor.himself was the 

After this ill-usage, James Hargreaves disappeared from the neigh- 
bourhood of Blackburn, and settled in the town of Nottingham. 
It is stated that in the first months of his sojourn in Nottingham 
Hargreaves was employed by a Mr. Shipley, to whom he communicated 
his invention, and in whose house he made several "jennies" privately. 
Another individual, Mr. Thomas James, then invited him to become 
his partner in a spinning factory. Mr. James was to find the capital for 
building the mill, which he borrowed on the mortgage of some freehold 
property, and Hargreaves was to stock it with spinning machines. The 
mill was built at a place called Hockley, and there the partners spun 
yam for the hosiers of the district. Two houses were also built adjacent 
to the mill, in one of which the family of Hargreaves was domiciled. 
Hargreaves now considered it necessary to protect his invention by 
letters patent, which he had not hitherto been in a position to do. The 
patent for the "Spinning Jenny" was obtained in the year 1770. It had 
then been in use by its inventor about five years. Hargreaves's Specifi- 
cation of his patent is headed, " Machinery for Spinning, Drawing, and 
Twisting Cotton." Its preamble is as follows : — 

Whereas, I, James Hargraves (of the town of Nottingham) did, by my petition, 
humbly represent to His present most Excellent Majesty King George the Third, that 
I had after much application and many trials, attended with expense, at last invented 
and brought to perfection " A Method of making a Wheel or Engine of an Entire New 
Constraction (and never before made use of), in order for Spinning, Drawing, and Twist- 
ing of Cotton, and to be managed by One Person only, and that the Wheel or Engine 
will .Spin, Draw, and Twist Sixteen or more Threads at one time by a turn or motion 
of One Hand, and a draw of the other ;" and that in regard I was the first and true 
Inventor thereof, and that the same had not been made by any other person or persons 
to my knowledge or belief, I therefore most humbly prayed His said Majesty that He 
would be graciously pleased to grant unto me, my executors, &c.. His Royal Letters 
Patent, &c., for the sole use and benefit of my said Invention within Great Britain, 
&c., for the term of fourteen years, according to the Statute in that case made and 
provided ; His said "Majesty being willing to give encouragement to all arts and inven- 
tions which might be for the publick good, was graciously pleased to condescend to 
my request, and therefore, by His Royal Letters Patent, bearing date at Westminster, 
the Twelfth day of June, in the Tenth year of His reign, &c., did give and grant unto 


me, the said James Hargraves, &c. , license to make, use, exercise, and vend his said 

Hargreaves describes the modus operandi of his invention, as 
exhibited in the accompanying diagrams, in these terms : — 

One person with his or her right hand turns the wheel in the plan marlted G, and 
with the left hand takes hold of the clasps, in the plan marked I, and therewith draws 
out the cotton from the slubbin box, in the plan marked P, and being twisted by the 
turn of the wheel in the drawing out, then the piece of wood marked N in the plan is 
lifted up by the toe, which lets down the presser wire in the plan marked A, so as to 
press the threads so drawn and twisted, in order to wind or put the same regularly 
upon the bobbins, which are placed on the spindles standing in the box in the plan 
marked C. 

The specification is signed and sealed by the patentee, on the 30th 
of July, 1770, in presence of "Wm. James" and "Robert Evans," 
witnesses. The invention was enrolled on the i8th of August in the 
same year. 

The drawing of the patented "jenny" shows a range of sixteen 
spindles, being double the number inserted by Hargreaves in his first 
experimental spinning-frame. It is stated in the description that the 
frames might embrace a larger number of spindles if desired. When 
Hargreaves had secured legal protection for his invention, he took 
measures to prevent the use of imitations which had been made of the 
machine since its first appearance. An unfortunate circumstance frus- 
trated -the inventor's hope of making large profits out of his patent : — 
" Finding that several of the large manufacturers were using the jenny, 
Hargreaves gave notice of action against them ; the manufacturers met, 
and sent a delegate to Nottingham, who offered Hargreaves ^^3,000 for 
permission to use the machine ; but he at first demanded jQ-jjOoo, and 
at last stood out for ^4,000. The negotiations being broken off, the 
actions proceeded ; but before they came to trial, Hargreaves's attorney 
(Mr. Evans) was informed that his client, before leaving Lancashire, had 
sold some jennies to obtain clothing for his children (of whom he had 
six or seven), and in consequence of this, which was true, the attorney 
gave up the actions, in despair of obtaining a verdict."'^ In this way, 
Hargreaves was disappointed in his reasonable expectation of obtaining 
the adequate reward of his useful ingenuity. Lack of capital at the 
outset was the cause of the commercial unsuccess of his patent. He 
had been forced by poverty to postpone the application for legal protec- 
tion, and the same exigency had obliged him to sell machines before the 
invention was patented. 

In spite of popular resistance, the spinning "jenny" had before the 

I Baines's Hist of Cotton Manufacture. 


year 1771 been adopted to a great extent by spinners in Lancashire. 
Samuel Crompton, subsequently distinguished as the inventor of the 
"Spinning Mule," was, in the year 1769, when but sixteen years of age, 
supplied with one of Hargreaves's frames by his parents at Bolton, — a 
machine of eight spindles on which he spun the coarse yarn he after- 
wards wove into quilting ; and it was after working five years on this 
jenny, and having become thoroughly familiar with its mechanism and 
its capacity for doing the work required, that the younger inventor set 
about the construction of an improved spinning machine for finer 
spinning, which should combine with the successful features of Har- 
greaves's "jenny" some new arrangements. 

Richard Arkwright, the Preston barber, working at the idea of 
spinning by rollers that had been already embodied in the machine 
patented by Paul and others, produced, about the year 1767, his first 
example of a spinning machine. Arkwright's machine was exhibited in 
the Grammar School at Preston in that year, but on the outbreak of the 
Blackburn weavers who destroyed Hargreaves's machines in 1768, 
Ark-\vright, in fear that the machine might bring the mob to Preston, 
packed up the machine, quitted the town, along with his partner 
Smalley, and found his way to Nottingham, the town which had afforded 
a retreat to Hargreaves. Arkwright was a man of greater energy than 
the Blackburn inventor, and although the "jenny" had been in use two 
or three years before his o\vn frame was completed, Arkwright got his 
invention patented twelve months earlier than Hargreaves. The speci- 
fication of Arkwright's patent is dated July 3rd, 1769. His machine 
consisted of four strong upright pillars, bolted together with cross-pieces. 
The motive power was a horse, that turned the driving drum. The 
driving strap at once turned the rollers at the top and the spindles at the 
bottom of the frame. The " cotton roving " was wound upon bobbins 
running in a frame behind the rollers ; and from the bobbins passed 
through a pair of wooden rollers, &c., and by one pair of rollers moving 
quicker than the other, drew it finer for twisting, which was performed 
by the spindles. 

It is a coincidence in the record of British invention that the Steam 
Engine was first patented by James Watt the same year that Arkwright 
patented his spinning machine. The years 1769-70 will thus be 
memorable as the date at which the significant inventions of Watt, 
Arkwright and Hargreaves were presented to the world of industry. 

Samuel Crompton's " Mule " Spinning Machine was the sequence 
of the inventions of Hargreaves and Arkwright. The Bolton manu- 
factures at that time included numerous finer textile fabrics, such as 
muslins, the yam for which could not be spun by the somewhat simple 


process of twisting performed by the "jenny." Crompton felt his ability 
to add important improvements to the machines both of Hargreaves and 
Arkwright. After five years of ingenious and unassisted work, Crompton 
had perfected his new machine in 1779. It was from the first a success. 
It was called, when it became popularly known, the "Muslin-Wheel," 
but soon it acquired the suggestive name of " Spinning Mule" implying 
its union of the best characteristics both of Hargreaves's jenny and the 
machine of Arkwright. Crompton's machine had numerous good points, 
but what proved its grand merit was its " spindle carriage," whereby the 
strain was kept off the thread until it had been elongated to the required 

James Hargreaves died at Nottingham in the Spring of 1778. The 
register of his burial in the Parish Church of St. Mary, in that town, 
reads: — " r 778, April 22, y'aw^j' Hargreaves." The statement printed 
by some careless chronicler, and repeated by others, that the author of 
the " Spinning Jenny " died in extreme poverty, and left his family in 
want, has been entirely disproved. After taking out the patent in 1770, 
Hargreaves remained in partnership with Mr. James in the spinning 
mill they had built near Nottingham, and had prospered well enough to 
uphold a respectable position, and to leave at his death, for the benefit 
of his widow and children, property of the estimated value of ^4,000. 
He died at his house near the mill at Hockley. After his death his 
widow received from the surviving partner a sum of ;£'4oo, as the value 
of her husband's share in the concern. Mrs. Hargreaves was otherwise 
sufliciently provided for to permit her to save the ^£'400, and to 
bequeath the sum to her children when she died. This, though not 
much in the way of success for a man whose invention was so serviceable 
to the staple trade of Lancashire, is at least more satisfactory than the 
tradition of absolute indigence in his latter days. After the death of his 
widow, some of the children of the inventor became very poor. A 
writer in the year i860 says: — "Two of his daughters were living in 
Manchester until within the last few years, when the late Mr. Brotherton 
[M.P. for Salford], hearing of their condition, endeavoured to raise a 
subscription on their behalf; but he had great difficulty in collecting 
sufficient from the wealthy manufacturers of that town to preserve them 
from destitution." 

The year after Hargreaves's death (1779) occurred a second 
violent outbreak of peasant-craftsmen in this district against the 
"jenny" and kindred labour-saving machines. The riot in 1779, 
which originated in a temporary dearth of employment for the weaver, 
culminated in more extensive machine-breaking than that of 1 768. On 
this occasion a mob of rude fellows " scoured the country for many miles 



round Blackburn, destroying all the jennies, carding engines, and every 
machine driven by water or horses. Mr. Peel had his machinery at 
Altham thrown into the Calder, and he himself with difficulty escaped 
personal violence at the hands of the rioters. Many of the machine 
spinners were driven from Blackburn to Manchester and other towns, 
and years elapsed before machine spinning was resumed at the former 
place. Even the upper and middle classes in those days entertained a 
great dread of machinery, and they connived at, and actually joined in, 
the opposition of the working classes to its extension. On some occa- 
sions the magistrates, at the head of a body of soldiers, stood quietly by 
watching the outrages, and they were afterwards found ready to screen 
the rioters from punishment." Mr. French, in the Life of Crompton, 
says that the mob spared those "jennies" that had fewer than twenty 
spindles. Crompton had then just finished his more elaborate contri- 
vances for finer spinning. He was so afraid of being attacked that he 
took his machine to pieces, and hid the parts in the garret of his house 
at Hall-i'th'-Wood, and it was not until the end of the year 1780 that 
the Bolton inventor's beautiful machine was advanced to public notice. 

It is not within my purpose to narrate the subsequent history of the 
inventions of Hargreaves, Arkwright, and Crompton. Crompton's " Spin- 
ning Mule," being a great improvement on former machines, in time 
superseded the frames modelled on the plan of the "Jenny " and the 
machine of Arkwright. The adoption of the "Mule" was also facilitated 
by the fact that Crompton did not get a patent for his invention, but 
gave it to the trade in the expectation of adequate voluntary compensa-" 
tion by the leading capitalists who made use of his machine — a hope 
destined to be disappointed. According to a return obtained by Cromp- 
ton himself in the year 1810, there were ascertained to be in use at that 
date of Crompton's " Mule," machines with an aggregate of 4,600,000 
spindles; while at the same time there were 310,516 spindles in use on 
Arkwright's water-frames; and 155,880 spindles on Hargreaves' "Jenny" 
machines. So far from being surprised at this prevalence of the latest- 
invented machines, one is inclined to wonder that the simpler machines 
of earlier invention had in many factories held their ground so long. 


Simultaneously with the spread in East Lancashire of the cotton 
spinning trade from the beginning of the factory system, a considerable 
calico printing industry was planted and flourished in the district. The 
date at which the first calico pieces were printed in this neighbourhood 
cannot be fixed. Baines refers the commencement of calico printing in 
Lancashire to the Messrs. Clayton, of Bamber Bridge, in Walton town- 


ship, who " began the business on a small scale as early as the year 
1 764." The Peels of Blackburn are stated to have speedily followed 
the Cla)rtons in this trade. That calico printing was rapidly developed 
in the town of Blackburn after its importation is proved by the record of 
the antiquary Pennant's visit to Blackburn in the year 1773, when he 
wrote concerning the local trade : — " The manufactures are cottons ; 
considerable quantities are printed here ; others are sent to London. 
The fields around are whitened with the materials which are bleached 
for them. The thread, which must be ranked with them, is brought 
from Ireland." The parish of Blackburn was the original seat of the 
calico printing trade of Lancashire, and the town of Blackburn and its 
vicinity continued for some years to be the principal emporium of the 
calico printers. Information is scant concerning the calico-printing 
establishment of the Claytons at Bamber Bridge. Mr. S. Potter states : — 
"The trade was established in Lancashire in 1764 by Messrs. Clayton, 
of Bamber Bridge, near Preston ; the cloth that was printed being made 
with linen warp and cotton weft, and produced principally at Blackburn. 
This was the reason of many printers settling near Blackburn, which was 
for a long time the great seat of the print trade. The introduction of 
power-loom cloth caused the migration of a considerable print trade to 
Stockport, Hyde, Staleybridge, and North Derbyshire." 

The Claytons who entered into this business were descendants of 
the ancient family of Clayton of Clayton-in-the-Woods. Mr. Edward 
Clayton, of Bamber Bridge, conducted the business of linen printer for 
some time before his death in 1767, and it was his sons, John and 
George Clayton, who developed the art of printing calico in their 
works at this place. For a few years the Bamber Bridge printers of 
linens and calicoes had no local competitors, and several Blackburn 
makers of cotton fabrics for printing purposes sent their pieces to the 
Messrs. Clayton to be ornamented with printed patterns. But soon the 
original firm found energetic rivals in Blackburn, the first of whom were 
the Peels, in conjunction with their family connexions, the Haworths and 
Yateses. Another family of Blackburn merchants, the Liveseys, also 
entered the trade, and prosecuted it on a large scale at Mosney, in 
Walton township. 

The old process of printing textiles by means of wooden blocks was 
a slow and uncertain one, whose only merit, if merit it was, was that of 
simplicity. It was evidently suggested, at first, by the process of letter- 
press printing. The cloth to be imprinted was stretched upon a table 
whose board was covered by a fine woollen blanket. The printer had a 
boy to spread the colouring fluid, or mordant, by means of a brush over 
the surface of a woollen cloth stretched in a frame. The printer took 


the wooden block, on which the pattern had been cut in relief by the 
block-cutter, pressed its face upon the colouring blanket by his side, 
then adjusted it upon the cloth to be printed, and produced the impres- 
sion by means of a stroke from a mallet. Where more than one colour 
had to be used, a separate block was needed for each colour, and great 
nicety of manipulation was needed to secure perfection in the production 
of the design. This system of block printing was largely replaced by 
cylinder printing from the year 1785, but it did not altogether disappear 
from the print-shops for many years after that date. 


The Peel family, in the persons of several notable representatives, 
wfire incomparably the most successful of the pioneers both of the cotton 
manufacture and the calico-printing trade in the Blackburn district. As 
diligent, ingenious, and bold projectors and commercial men the Peels 
distanced all competition in the outset of these great branches of Lan- 
cashire commerce. The Peels had been settled in or near Blackburn 
for several generations, but are supposed to be originally a Yorkshire 
family.' Sir Lawrence Peel,'' whose account of the early history of the 
illustrious family to which he belongs is the most authentic published, 
deduces the descent of Robert Peel, the great manufacturer, and his son 
the Prime Minister, from a certain member of the Peels who removed 
to Blackburn out of East Marton in Craven, about the year 1600, and 
who settled on the farm of Hole House, in Blackburn. William Peele 
was the name of the member who leased this farm, a portion of the 
Blackburn Rectory Glebe. It is believed that the father of this William 
Peel accompanied him to Blackburn, and was the " Robert Peele of 
Hole House " who appears in the Blackburn Parish Register as having 
been buried on the 27th of June, 1608. William Peele farmed this estate 
until his decease in October, 1623 ; he was buried in the Parish Church 
of Blackburn, Oct. nth, in that year. To him succeeded in the 
tenancy a son and namesake, William Peele of Hole-house, who married, 
in Blackburn, on the 24th of December, 1619, Margaret Livesey, by 

I From Jonathan Peel, Esq., of Knowlmere Manor, I am favoured with a note upon the probable 
original seat of the family of Peel. Mr. Peel writes :—" There is a vague tradition in the family that 
the Peels came originally from Devonshire. The author of ' The Norman People,' published last 
autumn, has kindly sent me a detailed account of a Norman family bearing the name, in addition to 
that of a Norman lordship, and almost the identical arms, and possessed of extensive estates in Devon- 
shire, from which he concludes we are descended. I have, however, quite lately found that a family 
of Peels dwelt at 'The Peel' in Bolton-by-Bowland from the loth Ric. 11. (A.D.139S) to the 13th Jas. I. 
(A.D. 1616), and that in the i6th Car. I. (A.D. 1641) Thomas Peele and Janette his wife sold lands 
there. Since that date all connection of this family with Bolton appears to have ceased. The subject 
however, is under investigatioD." 

X Life of Sir Robert Peel, i860. 



whom he had a son Robert, and other children. This William Peele 
died March 9th, 165 1-2, and was buried at Blackburn on the 16th of the 
same month. 

About the next representative somewhat of interest has been pre- 
served by tradition. Robert Peele of the Hole-house was, says Sir L. 
Peel, " a manufacturer of woollen cloths at Blackburn. This was about 
the year 1640. The cloth was stamped with patterns from wooden 
blocks on which they were cut. Some of these blocks were seen by my 
father, when a boy, lying neglected in a lumber-room in his grandfather's 
house. He expressed his regret that they had not been preserved, and 
described them as curious from their very rudeness. His grandfather 
was the eldest son of Robert the manufacturer. Robert the woollen 
manufacturer was the first prosperous man of the family. He was 
reputed wealthy, and was so for the times ; to each of several daughters 
he left by his Will, which was in the registry 6f the Archdeaconry of 
Richmond, in Yorkshire, the sum of 'nine score pounds,' a sum 
which, mean as it would now be considered, was not then an inconsider- 
able portion for a daughter in families of the middle class." To this 
Robert Peele, besides the daughters above-mentioned, two sons were 
bom, the eldest Robert, the second Nicholas. Nicholas, the younger, 
entered the Church and obtained the curacy of the Blackburn Parish 
Church in the Vicariate of the Rev. Leonard Clayton. The Rev. 
Nicholas Peele was the preacher of the funeral sermon for Vicar Clayton 
in the year 1677; and a year after, on the 17th of March, 1678-9, is 
registered the interment of " Rev. Mr. Nicholas Peele," curate of Black- 

Robert Peele, son of Robert, had to wife Ann Warde, of Blackbum, 
whom he married on the loth of October, i'68i. .She belonged 
to a respectable family of yeomen in Blackbum, who have a tombstone 
still existing in the Parish church-yard at Blackbum, inscribed with the 
names of " Henry Ward," buried in " 17 10," father probably of Ann; 
and of William Ward, of Blackbum, who died November 30th, 
1734. By his wife, who died in June, 1721, Robert Peele had a 
numerous progeny, of at least four sons and seven daughters. The sons 
were — William, the eldest; Nicholas, baptized Oct. 26th, 1684; John, 
baptized March isth, 1690; and Joseph, baptized Sept. 28th, 1701; 
buried Feb. 4th, 1 718-19. The daughters were — Alice, bom in March, ' 
1686, died in March, 1691-2 ; Margaret, bom in April, 1688 ; EHzabeth, 
bom in Febmary, 1698; Ann, born December, 1695; Easter, bom 
May, 1698; Mary, bom Feb., 1704-5, died May, 1712; and Susannah, 
bom Jan., 1706-7, died May, 1709. The sire must have been a thrifty 
man, for in spite of the large family he had he found means to purchase 



a small freehold estate in the township of Oswaldtwistle. This was the 
messuage anciently known as Oldham's Cross, with the land appertaining. 
The estate had belonged to the Oldhams, a family of antiquity in Oswald- 
twistle, which gave the name to the tenement. After its passage to the 
Peels, its name was altered to that of " Peel Fold." Robert Peele 
acquired the Oldham's Cross farm in the month of April, 1731, and he 
lived at this place until his death in February, 1733-4. The Hole-house, 
the older home of the Peels, has disappeared, and the farm has been 
partially converted into building sites for factories and cottages. The 
situation of the farm is near the Burnley Old-road, between Furthergate 
and Whitebirk. 

William Peele, Robert's eldest son, succeeded him in residence at 
Peel Fold, and farmed the freehold, which he inherited by a deed of 
settlement made by his father. William Peele had to wife Jane, daughter 
of Lawrence Walmsley, gent., of Over Darwen, whom he married on 
the 9th of August, 1713. The issue of the marriage were — Sons, 
Robert; Lawrence; William, died in infancy in 1726; Nicholas, and 
Joseph ; and daughters Ann, Elizabeth, Jane, and Margaret. All the 
information given concerning this William Peele is that he was a man 
"of very delicate constitution, who was prevented by continued ill-health 
from exerting himself to improve or maintain the condition of the 
family." A family tradition of the Peels was that there were usually 
two working bees in the male succession, followed by a drone ; and the 
above William Peele, though rather by the fault of nature than his own, 
was not able to add anything to the family's acquisition of property. He 
died in 1757 — the Register of Blackburn gives "William Peele of 
Oswaldtwistle, yeoman," as buried on the 24th of July, 1757. His 
widow survived him some fifteen years, dying' in March, 1772. 

Now comes a member of this family of much greater note than any 
of his progenitors, who was destined to start the race on the path to 
distinction and opulence which one of his sons and his still greater 
grandson pursued with great address and high honour. This was Robert 
Peel, eldest son of William Peel, and the first of an unbroken succession 
of Robert Peels, of whom the last is the present baronet, of Drayton 
Manor. Robert Peel was bom at Peel Fold, in the year 1723 ; he is 
believed to have been educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in 
Blackburn. Having attained his majority, he married, on the 28th of 
August, 1 744, Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Haworth, of Walmsley Fold, 
Lower Darwen, gent. It is stated that after his marriage Robert Peel 
went to live at the Hole-house farm, in Blackburn, formerly referred to ; 
his father, William Peel, of course, remaining in possession of Peel Fold 
estate, in Oswaldtwistle, until his death in 1757. His first two sons, 


William and Edmund, were both born at the Hole-house, the one in 
June, 1745, and the other in January, 1747-8. About the year 1750, 
Robert Peel had found another abode near the centre of the town of 
Blackburn. This was the messuage in Fish-lane, off Astley-gate. This 
old lane may have derived its name from a family of yeomen named 
Fish, who lived in Blackburn, and not improbably at the farm house 
tenanted by Robert Peel, a tenement of considerable age, judging by 
its appearance before its demolition. At Fish-lane Robert Peel at first 
engaged himself as a farmer on a small scale, and there, in the month 
of April, 1750, was born his third son, Robert — the future baronet and 
father of the great statesman. The infant was baptized at Blackburn 
Church, April 23rd, 1750.' The house at Fish-lane has now been 
taken down some years. The house stood near the top of Fish-lane, on 
the north side. It was a low tenement, with muUioned windows and a 
gabled porch near the midst of the south front ; the bam attached at the 
end of the building. Twenty-five years ago the old house stood isolated 
in the lane, which was then but a narrow foot-road at the lower end, 
leading between walls and hedges from Astley-gate to Blakey Moor. 
The situation is transformed by the modem streets that now cover the 

Shortly after the time that this third son Robert first saw the light, 
Robert Peel was led to join in a small calico-making and printing busi- 
ness. The circumstances of his commencement in business are supplied 
by the family biographer. Edmund Haworth, of Walmsley Fold, 
father-in-law of Robert Peel, was engaged as a " chapman " or dealer in 
woven fabrics, and he had sent one of his sons, Mr. Jonathan Haworth, 
to London to acquire a knowledge of the art of printing calicoes, at 
that time confined to a few print-works in the Metropolis. On the 
return of young Mr. Haworth to Blackburn, proposals were made to his 
brother-in-law Peel to become his partner in a factory to be started in 
the vicinity of the town. Sir L. Peel writes : — " My maternal grandfather, 
Mr. Haworth, was reputed in his family, and I believe with truth, to 
have been the first calico-printer in Lancashire. He had learned the 
business in London, where he resided several years when a young 
man. . . On his return to Lancashire, he was bent upon introducing 
the business of a calico printer into his own neighbourhood. He com- 
municated his design to his brother-in-law, Mr. Robert Peel. They 

I The tradition is positive in Blackburn that Robert Peel, the first baronet, was born at the Fish- 
lane tenement in the town, and the house has several times been pictured in topographical works as 
the birth-place of this eminent personage : but Jonathan Peel, Esq., informs me that he has repeatedly 
heard this popular notion denied by old members of the family. Mr. Pee does not remember where it 
was stated the birth really took place, whether at Hole House or Peel Fold ; but adds that Robert 
Peel was attended at Fish-lane in early infancy by his relative Dr. Thomas Haworth, as appears from 
the Doctor's account book, now in possession of Mr Jonathan Peel. 


consulted together, and, after mature deliberation, resolved upon a trial 
of the scheme. Mr. Peel raised money for the undertaking by the 
mortgage of his small paternal property. Mr. Haworth had some 
money, but their united means did not furnish capital enough, and they 
therefore looked out for a partner with money. Mr. [William] Yates, or 
his parents, had kept a small inn at Blackburn, called, I believe, the 
Black Bull. In that line he, or they, had made and saved some money; 
he was willing to embark it in a scheme which promised well, and the 
three commenced -business together under the name, style, and firm of 
Haworth, Peel, and Yates ; they manufactured and printed their own 
cloth, and established a warehouse in Manchester for its sale." 

It was while living at Fish-lane, sometime between 1755 and 1760, 
that Mr. Robert Peel made his first experiments in block-printing. The 
process was conducted with secresy in the first instance ; and the printed 
pieces were ironed, instead of being put through a calender, by his wife. 
On one occasion, 

Mr. Peel was in the kitchen, making some experiments in printing on handker- 
chiefs, and other small pieces, when his only daughter [Anne], then a girl, afterwards 
Mrs. Willock, brought him in from their "garden of herbs " a sprig of parsley. . . 
She pointed out and praised the beauty of the leaf, and said she thought it would make 
a very pretty pattern. He took it out of her hand, looked at it attentively, praised it 
for its beauty, and her for her taste, and said he would make a trial of it. She, pleased 
not to be pooh-poohed as discoverers amongst juniors often are, lent her aid with all 
the alacrity of fourteen. A pewter dinner plate, for such was then the common dinner 
plate in families of that degree, was taken down from the shelf, and on it was sketched, 
say rather scratched, a figure of the leaf, and from this impressions were taken. It 
was called in the family Nancy's pattern, after his daughter. It became a favourite ; 
in the trade it was known as the parsley-leaf pattern ; and apt alliteration, lending its 
artful aid, gave its inventor the nickname of "Parsley Peel," which not having the 
least mixture of ill-nature in it, no barb to make it stick, did not adhere. 

Besides the three sons that have been named — William, Edmund, 
Robert — Mr. Robert Peel had other sons :— Paul, died in infancy ; Jona- 
than, afterwards of Accrington, baptized September 21st, 1752; Lawrence ; 
Joseph, born in September, 1765; and Robert John. Sir Lawrence 
Peel's statement that there was but one daughter Anne, or Nancy, is 
not strictly accurate ; she was the only daughter who survived to woman- 
hood ; but there was also two daughters that died in infancy — Betty, 
baptized March sth, 1762, buried June 22nd, 1764 ; and Jenny, baptized 
April ist, buried April loth, 1768. A statement is made by Whittle, 
that two of Mr. Peel's sons, Robert and Jonathan, were apprenticed to 
a calico-printer in Livesey, near Blackburn, named Mr. Thomas Yates. 
There was a Thomas Yates in business as a dyer of calicoes at Moor- 
gate Fold in Livesey before the year 1 748 ; and it might be this person 
with whom the two sons of Robert Peel served their time. 


Mr. William Yates, who about the year 1760 entered into a partner- 
ship with Mr. Peel and Mr. Haworth as calico printers, at Brookside, 
Oswaldtwistle, was a Blackburn man, whose father kept the Black Bull 
Inn. The relations of William Yates with the Peels, both commercial 
and domestic, were in the sequel very intimate. He was four times 
married. By his first wife Mary he had a son Edmund, named hereafter; 
then a daughter Ellen (" Ellen daughter of William and Mary Yates 
of Blackburn, Chapman "), baptized April 2nd, 1766, afterwards famous 
as the wife of the first Sir Robert Peel and mother of the celebrated 
Minister; also sons Thomas, born in September 1767; and John, 
baptized June nth, 1768. The mother died in childbed of this son, 
and was buried the day of his baptism, June nth, 1768. Mr. Yates's 
second wife, Nancy, bore a son Giles, bom in April and died in June, 
1771 ; and daughters Jane and Ann, twins, baptized June 6th, 1773 ; 
Jane, one of the twins, became the wife of Col. Peel of Ardwick. 
Mr. Yates had other sons, Jonathan, afterivards General Yates; William, 
who entered the Church, and became Rector of Eccleston, Chorley ; 
John ; and Thomas Yates of Bury, calico printer. William Yates the 
father died in 18 13, aged 73. 

The partnership of Haworth, Yates, and Peel did not continue 
many years. The two elder partners seceded, and subsequently com- 
menced business at Bury ; Robert Peel remaining in sole possession at 
Brookside. It has been mentioned that, in 1762, Robert Peel and 
James Hargreaves conjointly constructed the carding cylinder and 
introduced this greatly improved mode of carding into the factory at 
Brookside. He also bought from Hargreaves several of his spinning 
frames and stocked his rooms therewith. Thus Mr. Peel, at an early 
date in his commercial career, combined in his works the branches of 
cotton carding and spinning, and of calico weaving on the hand-loom, 
with the subsidiary art of calico printing. The tradition is that his 
machines at Brookside were destroyed by the gang of rioters that attacked 
the house of Hargreaves and broke up his machines in the year 1768. 
He refitted his factory when the fury of the populace had subsided, 
and erected other works at Altham, to enable him to meet the increase 
of orders for his printed pieces. Still the enterprising printer was not 
permitted to develop his trade in East Lancashire in quietness. The 
year 1779 found the Blackburn weavers suffering from temporary priva- 
tions from the dearth of employment, which they attributed to the 
multiplication of new machines and the progress of the factory system, 
and Robert Peel, as the chief local agent in this industrial revolution, 
was the object of popular hostility. Not only were his mills at Brook- 
side and Altham demolished, and all the machinery broken up ; but it 



is related that Mr. Peel was in danger of personal injury by 
the mob. This second onslaught convinced Mr. Peel that he could 
not continue to prosecute his businesses with any degree of security 
in the Blackburn district ; and he resolved to sever his connexion 
with his native town, to leave his wrecked factories behind, and to make 
a new start in a more hospitable locality. He removed his family and 
movable property to the vicinity of Burton-upon-Trent, in Stafford- 
shire, where " he took a lease for three lives, from the Earl of Uxbridge, 
of some land favourable to his purpose, part of which abutted on the 
Trent. He built three mills there, to supply one of which with water 
he cut a canal, at the cost of ^^9,000." It is not necessary here 
to notice the future history of Mr. Peel with any particularity. His 
business in Staffordshire was remarkably prosperous, and after conduct- 
ing it in person for about a dozen years he retired, and left the mills at 
Burton-on-Trent in the hands of some of his sons. Sir Lawrence Peel 
says respecting his habits and personal aspect :— " Old Mr. Peel was 
rather an absent man. When he walked the streets of Burton he used 
to look downwards, and seemed ever to be calculating some stiff ques- 
tion, and the common folks, shrewd enough commonly in their percep- 
tion of eccentricities, dubbed him ' The Philosopher.' . . He stooped 
a little in his latter days ; in his youth he had been remarkably erect. 
He wore a bushy Johnsonian wig ; like that sage, he was dressed in 
dark clothes of an ample cut, he leaned as he walked upon a tall gold- 
headed cane, and as he was a very handsome man, he looked a figure 
stately enough for a mediaeval burgomaster." The gold-headed cane 
referred to, after Robert Peel's death, became the property of one of his 
sons, Mr. Jonathan Peel, of Accrington House, and by him it was care- 
fully preserved as a relic. On the death of Mr. Jonathan Peel, it was 
presented to Sir Robert Peel, the Minister. The stick retained the 
leathern string, well-worn, which used to encircle the wrist of the vener- 
able founder of the fortunes of the Peels. A tradition of the personal 
appearance of Robert Peel in his less stately days, when he lived as a 
plain Blackburn farmer in Fish-lane, represents him as " a tall robust 
man, whose ordinary garb included a woollen apron, a calf-skin waist- 
coat, and wooden-soled clogs, and whose hair was grizzly, and of a 
reddish colour." This was Robert Peel at forty years of age, when his 
calico printing venture was in its humble beginnings ; the picture of Sir 
Lawrence Peel is drawn at sixty to seventy, when his enterprise had 
yielded its ample harvest. 

On retiring from business, Mr. Peel went to reside in a house he 
had bought at Ardwick, near Manchester. There he ended his life in 
comfortable repose. Sir Lawrence Peel has a pleasant anecdote of a 



conversation between old Mr. Robert Peel and his excellent wife, a 
short time before the end of their long married life of fifty-one years : — 
" One evening near the close of their lives, as they were seated by the 
fireside, surrounded by some of their descendants, conversing with the 
calmness of age upon death, the old lady said to her husband, ' Robert, 
I hope that I may live a few months after thee.' A wish so opposite to 
that which wives in story are made to express, surprised her hearers, but 
not her husband, who calmly asked her 'Why?' as if guessing her 
thought. 'Robert,' she replied, 'thou hast always been a kind, good 
husband to me ; thou hast been a man well thought of, and I should 
like to stay by thee to the last, and keep thee all right.'" The good 
wife's considerate wish was fulfilled. Robert Peel died in September, 
1795, aged 72 ; and his widow followed him to the grave within a few 
months, in March, 1796, aged 73 years. The brief space of her widow- 
hood Mrs. Peel spent chiefly at the house of her only surviving daughter, 
Mrs. Willock, wife of the Rev. Borlace Willock, incumbent of Great 
Harwood, and it was at the parsonage of Great Harwood that the old 
lady died. Both Mr. and Mrs. Peel were interred in a family vault 
built by Mr. Peel at St. John's Church, Manchester. The place of 
sepulture of the ancestral Peels was in the middle aisle of Blackburn 
Old Parish Church. When the old church was demolished in 1820, all 
the graves of the chief local families within the church area, including 
those of the Walmesleys, Liveseys, Ainsworths, Feildens, Sudells, Peels, 
and others, were left unprotected, and it became the duty of the repre- 
sentatives of these families then living, to cover the graves with suitable 
tombs, which in most instances was done, and the group of closely- 
placed monuments and railed memorial slabs above the vaults of these 
families indicates the situation of the former fabric in the Churchyard, 
and marks the relative positions of the burial places of the families in the 
ancient Parish Church. The erection of a family tomb to the Peels was 
undertaken jointly by the first Mr. Jonathan Peel of Accrington House, 
fourth son of Mr. Robert Peel, and by Mrs. William Peel, "a lady," says 
Sir Lawrence Peel, "the sorrows of whose life, in the early deaths of her 
husband and of her only child, a son, distinguished at Oxford, . destined 
for the Church, and promising a life of good, left unappropriated a never- 
failing spring of love, which flowed thenceforward for the use of those 
who mourn." The Peel tomb in the Parish Churchyard at Blackburn 
is a plain square one of massive stone slabs, surrounded by a palisade. 
The inscription it bears is simply the surname of this now historic 
family — " Peel." Many years have passed since any member of the 
Peel family was interred in the Blackburn Vault. 

Robert Peel, third son of the above Mr. Robert Peel, takes an 


eminent position in the family history as the first Sir Robert, and 
father of the illustrious statesman. From an early age, Robert Peel 
displayed a peculiar energy and intellectual ability that led his friends 
to anticipate his future distinction. Sir L. Peel says that when he had 
reached the age of i8 (that would be in 1768), he remarked to his father 
that he thought the members of the numerous family were " too thick 
upon the ground," and proposed that he should receive ;^5oo from his 
sire and go forth to make his own way in life. The father at the time 
was not disposed to make this advance ; perhaps the drain upon his 
capital in the working of his mill at Brookside forbade it. Two or three 
years after, however, an opening for young Robert's business talents was 
presented. His uncle, Mr. Haworth, and Mr. William Yates, decided, 
about the year 1770, to commence new calico printing works at Bury ; 
and on starting that business, Mr. Haworth manifested his confidence 
in his nephew by selecting him for a junior partner. The Bury firm in 
process of time became one of the most extensive in the trade. Robert 
Peel was recognised as the soul of the business by his seniors, one of 
whom (Mr. Haworth) soon retired from the partnership, and the other, 
Mr. Yates, left the entire direction to young Peel. On his first settle- 
ment in Bury, Robert Peel dwelt as a lodger with Mr. Yates, and dis- 
played a strong affection for the little daughter of his host, Ellen Yates, 
who was then but a child of five years or so. Robert Peel often nursed 
this pretty wench, and used to ask her if she would wed him when she 
arrived at womanhood, to which the child would artlessly answer in the 
affirmative. The singular attachment did not pass away, although the 
young man was sixteen years the senior of his child-sweetheart. Ellen 
Yates grew up a beautiful and fascinating young lady, received a first- 
class education, and when she reached the age of seventeen, and Robert 
Peel that of thirty-three, the early pledge was redeemed. Robert Peel 
married Ellen Yates on July 8th, 1783; and, after the birth of two 
daughters, a son was bom to the pair on the 5th of February, 1788, who 
was named after his sire and grandsire, " Robert Peel." This son 
became, forty-six years after. Prime Minister of England, having previ- 
ously taken a high political position in Parliament. The events in the 
life of Sir Robert Peel, the statesman, are too well remembered to require 
rehearsal. It should be a source of pride to the inhabitants of Blackburn 
that this renowned politician and party-leader, whose name has become 
historical, sprung of Blackburn parentage both on the father's and the 
mother's side, for both Robert Peel, the first baronet, and Ellen Yates, 
his first wife, mother of the statesman, drew their first breath in the then 
dull old town. Thus it may be boasted that Blackburn energy, intelli- 
gence, and thrift produced one of the most honourable and successful 

o ; 

— o 


statesmen whose hands have guided the destinies of the Empire. The 
first Sir Robert Peel was not less remarkable as a mercantile man than 
his son was as a Parliamentary leader. In 1790, the elder Robert Peel 
entered Parliament as Member for Tamworth, and continued to repre- 
sent that borough for thirty years. In 1 800, at fifty years of age, he 
received a baronetcy. In 1 803, his business operations were so large 
that it was reckoned he employed 15,000 workpeople, chiefly at Bury and 
Tamworth, and was paying excise duty of more than _;^4o,ooo per 
annum on his prints. He had five sons besides the Minister, and several 
daughters ; and so ^eat was his wealth at his decease, aged 80, on May 
3rd, 1830, that it was found he had left personalty to the amount of 
between one and two millions, and had bequeathed legacies of^i35,ooo 
each to five younger sons ; ;^52,ooo each to three surviving daughters ; 
and numerous liberal bequests to his connexions and to public objects. 
All his landed estates in Staffordshire and Warwickshire descended to 
his eldest son Robert with the title ; and the settlement of ;^9,ooo a 
year which had been made on him at the age of 21, on his entrance into 
Parliament, was a part of the inheritance of the second Sir Robert Peel 
out of the princely fortune amassed by the first baronet. 

Among the other businesses in East Lancashire in which the Peels 
were principal partners, were the works at Church Bank, Church Kirk, 
founded sometime before 1770 by Robert Peel, of Blackburn. With 
these works, after the father's retirement from business life, William 
Peel and Jonathan Peel, his eldest and fourth sons, were chiefly con- 
nected. Mr. William Peel inherited the farm at Peel Fold, Oswald- 
twistle, and lived at the old house there after his marriage until his 
removal to a larger residence at Church Bank. This representative 
married, in the year 1766, Mary, daughter of Thomas Haworth, doctor 
of medicine, of Blackburn, and had issue sons, Thomas (afterwards of 
Peel Fold and Sawley), Joseph, died young in 1781 ; Robert, of Taliaris, 
Wales; Edmund, of Church Bank; William, of Burnley; Jonathan, and 
John, of Burton ; with daughters Elizabeth and Anne. Mr. William 
Peel, like his grandfather William Peel, had not the robust health 
common among the Peels, and died comparatively young and before 
his parents, in 1791; the Blackburn Parish Register shows "William 
Peel, of Church Bank," as buried there April 2nd, 1791, aged 47 (an 
error in the record — he was hardly 46). His widow died in March, 
1794, aged 49, and was also sepultured at Blackburn, March 25th. 

The Peel-fold estate still belongs to the elder line of the Peels, the 
descendants of the above-named Mr. William Peel. The old house at 
the Fold remains, and is occupied by the farmer of the estate. It is a 
very fair example of a yeoman's house of the seventeenth century with 



implements used by the block printers of a past generation, removed 
from the rooms preparatory to a restoration of such portions of the build- 
ings as are to be applied to a new industry. Altogether the old Brook- 
side Print Works look what they really are, the forsaken haunt of a trade 
once of vast proportions and amazingly profitable, but now contracted 
to humbler dimensions, and stripped of its former affluence. The 
name of Brookside, however, will not soon be erased from the commercial 
record of this county. 


Allusion has formerly been made to the extensive print works 
established at Mosney, in Walton-in-le-Dale, by a family of Liveseys and 
parties in partnership with them. The Liveseys, who took a notable part 
in the development of calico printing in this district a century ago, were 
collateral connexions of the ancient territorial family of Livesey of 
Livesey. One of them was Thomas Livesey, Esq., of Blackburn, and 
another, John Livesey, Esq., of the same place. The former, Mr. 
Thomas Livesey, was the son of James Livesey, gentleman, who died in 
1747, and a kinsman of Ralph Livesey, Esq., of Livesey Hall, who died 
in 1766. "Thomas, son of James and Margaret Livesey of Blackburn, 
gent.," was baptized in Blackburn Church, July 12th, 1734. There were 
other children, including three sons named James, all of whom died in 
infancy, and sons Robert and Richard ; with daughters Alice, bom in 
1 741, and Ellen. Mr. Thomas Livesey was eventually heir to a 
considerable estate, but he also engaged in the local manufacture, in the 
first instance as a merchant in the Blackburn fabrics, and afterwards as 
an extensive calico printer. His place of residence about 1760 was the 
handsome stone-built house with classic frontage, which stands on the 
north side of King-street in Blackburn, near the opening into Paradise- 
lane. This, the most elegant of the old Blackburn residences, was 
built in the early years of last century by a Mr. Falkner. I have it 
on the statement of an old lady in Blackburn that when Mr. Thomas 
Livesey dwelt in this mansion he used the basement floor for a ware- 
house for the reception of the calico pieces in which he traded, and had 
the whole of the flagged floor boarded over to make the place more 
comfortable for his warehousemen. Mr. Thomas Livesey married, 
first, Elizabeth Livesey, a daughter of a family of Liveseys in Man- 
chester that also sprang from the old stock of Livesey of Livesey. 
They were married May 6th, 1 766. The children of this marriage were, 
James, bom in Febmary, 1767, and died in March, 1771 ; Margaret, 
bom in 1768, died in April, 1775; Ellen, born in 1770, died in August, 
1793; and Elizabeth, bom in March, 1771. Mrs. Livesey died in 


child-bed of this daughter, and was buried March 21st, 1771. Mr. 
Thomas Livesey, for his second wife, married, June 15th, 1775, 
Lydia Bancroft, of Manchester, by whom he had a son Joseph ; and 
a daughter, Maria, born in 1777. Miss Ahce Livesey, a sister of Mr. 
Thomas Livesey, who hved with him in the house in King-street, Black- 
bum, had married, in 1763, Henry Sudell, gent, and had by him a 
son, Henry. Mr. Thomas Livesey's daughter by his second wife, Miss 
Maria Livesey, was married to her cousin, Henry Sudell, junior, in the 
year 1796. 

The other member of the Liveseys connected with the rise of cotton 
spinning and calico printing in Blackburn Parish was Mr. John Livesey, 
of Blackburn, who by his wife Mary, daughter of Samuel Clowes, Esq., 
of Manchester, whom he married in 1772, had sons, Robert, born in 
February, 1774; John Pearson; and Thomas, bom in July, 1784; with 
daughters Mary, Elizabeth, Frances, and Anne. 

The works at Mosney, started about 1780, were the property of a 
firm under the style of Livesey, Hargreaves, Anstie, Smith, and Hall. 
The firm secured the services of a Mr. Thomas Bell, a Scotsman, who 
brought to the business his practical talent as an engraver, and who 
proved also a successful mechanical inventor. Indeed, the Walton 
calico printing concern is now chiefly remembered from the circum- 
stance that it was there that cylinder-machine printing of calico was 
first introduced. Mr. Thomas Bell, of this estiblishment, was the 
original inventor and patentee of the cylinder printing-process. The 
specification of Mr. Bell's first patent bears date the 1 7th of November, 
1783. In it the inventor "Thomas Bell, of Mosney, in the county of 
Lancaster, copper-plate Printer," recites that by Royal Letters Patent 
dated July 17th, 23rd Geo. III., he had granted to him power to make, 
use, and vend his invention, described as "A new and peculiar art or 
method of Printing with one colour or with various colours at the same 
time, on Linnens, Lawns, and Cambricks, Cottons, Callicoes, and 
Muslins, Woollen Cloths, Silks, Silk and Stuffs, Gauzes, and any other 
species or kind of Linnen Cloth, or Manufactured Goods whatever." 
The nature of the invention is then set forth, and the inventor's affidavit 
is attested by " William Waterhouse, of Mosney, within the township of 
Walton-in-le-Dale, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, Gentleman, and 
John Emmett, of Preston, Cabinet Maker." The large sheet of drawings 
accompanying the specification exhibits the parts of a six-colour cylinder- 
printing machine, the mechanism of which is thus described : — The six 
rollers are arranged round a large central bowl. The colour is supplied 
to each roller by what is yet called the " box doctor." Springs and 
screws are shown for pushing the box doctors up to the rollers, and 



cogged wheels to drive the rollers simultaneously. The m achine has 
attached a winding-on frame, by which the unwinding of the cloth from 
one roll, before printing, winds the printed cloth on another, with a 
coupling-box to detach the roll when filled. Such was the first form of 
the cylinder machine for calico printing, as brought out at Mosney 
works by Mr. Thomas Bell, in 1783. In the following year Mr. Bell 
patented an improved machine, of which one of the features is the 
construction of the centres of the printing rollers of iron, covered with 
copper or other metal, which can be taken off at pleasure, and other 
patterns engraved on the movable copper plates fixed upon the rollers 
as needed. The drawing of this specification shows a three-colour 
cylinder machine. The inventor's affidavit is sworn at Mosney, August 
4th, 1784, and the specification enrolled on the 8th of November. 

The Mosney firm of calico printers extended their works, and for 
some years prosecuted a flourishing business, and bore a high reputation 
in the trade ; but a succession of pecuniary losses very much shook the 
credit of the concern, and resulted at last in the suspension of business. 
The bankruptcy of the firm was announced in the year 1788. The 
works at Mosney were stopped, and do not appear to have ever been 
re-started. After lying idle a few years, the buildings at Mosney were 
demolished, and the machinery taken out of them. Mr. William 
Assheton, of Cuerdale Hall, bought the site from the executors of 
Thomas Livesey, in 1792, and sold it to Mr. Richard Calrow about 
1797.' It is said that the mansion of the Calrows at Walton Lodge was 
built partially of the bricks brought from the demolished Mosney works. 
The only vestiges now to be seen of the once extensive arrangements 
for calico-printing at this spot are a portion of an old wall, and remains 
of the brick culvert constructed for turning the water used in the works 
into the River Darwen. Mosney estate is still the property of the Calrow 
family. An informant mentions that the Liveseys had bleach-works at 

I Among the Piccope MSS. in the Chetham Library, Manchester, I find brief abstracts of deeds in 
the possession of the Rev. J. S. Birley relating to the acquisition of part of the site of the Mosney Print 
Works in Walton. By Indentures dated Jan. 13th and 14th, 1783, between John Atherton of Banister Hall, 
of the first part, Joseph Atherton of the second part. Richard Atherton and John Hindle of the third 
part, and John Livesey, John Hargreave.s, Peter Anstie, Joseph Smith, and Williiim Hall of the fourth 
part, is conveyed a close called Barn fiatt to the parties of the fourth part, who were the firm of calico- 
printers. On the i8th June, 1788, a joint Commission of Bankruptcy was awarded against the said 
John Livesey and the other members of the firm. An indenture of the 24th Sept., 1789, between John, 
Joseph, and John Atherton of the one part, and Thomas Livesey of the other part, recites the inden- 
ture of Jan. 13th, 1783 ; and the Will of John Atherton, dated Oct. i8th, 1785. The said Thomas 
Livesey died in March, 1790, Joseph Livesey, his son and heir, being then a minor ; and appointed 
Lydia Livesey, his wife, her son Mathew Bancroft Lister, Esq., Henry Sudell of Blackburn, Esq., 
Joseph Tipping of Manchester, Esq., and John Hysall of London, Esq., executors. Thomas Livesey's 
Will was dated Feb. 21st, 1787. By indentures dated May 17th and i8th, 1792, Lydia Livesey, of 
Burwell Park, Co. Lincoln, widow, Mathew Bancroft Lister, of Burwell Park, Esq., Henry Sudell 
of Blackburn, Esq., and Thomas Tipping of Manchester, Esq., sell to William Assheton of Cuerdale, 
Esq., the close of land called Bam Flatt, &c. 



Bamber Bridge, and also a cotton mill at Higher Walton, which was 
purchased by Rodgett Brothers about 1859, and afterwards pulled down 
and a new mill built. Mr. Thomas Livesey resided at Knott House, 
and died there ; this house had previously been the residence of Mr. 
Anstie, one of the masters of the Mosney print-works; Mr. Hall, 
another partner, resided at Darwen Bank, now the property of Mr. 
Rodgett. Knott House was since the mansion of Edmund Calvert, Esq. 


Another local printing establishment of celebrity in its day was that 
founded by Mr. James Thomson, at Primrose, near Clitheroe. Mr. 
Thomson began business at Primrose about 181 1, in the first instance 
in premises that had been previously used for cotton manufacturing 
purposes. Mr. James Thomson was the son of a Scotch gentleman 
who had migrated to Blackburn, and was engaged in the local trade 
there. The son was born in the year 1779, and was educated at 
Glasgow University. He commenced life as a chemist at the printing 
works of Messrs. Peel, at Church-bank, and stayed there until he 
had obtained a partnership in the business. On his commencement 
of a new business at Primrose, he had for his partners Mr. John 
Chippendale, the son of a Blackburn trader in cotton goods, and Mr. 
James Burton. The firm was styled Thomson, Chippendale, Burton, and 
Thomson. The Primrose Print-works quickly established a good position 
in the trade ; and the concern was found so profitable that, a few years 
after its commencement, Mr. Thomson was able to purchase the estate 
upon which the works stood for ^28,000. The secret of Mr. Thomson's 
eminence as a calico printer was his devotion to the scientific improve- 
ment of printing processes. He took out patents for some of the most 
important of his novelties in the application of colours. The first of his 
specifications is one dated March 3rd, 1813, entitled "A new method of 
producing patterns in cloth previously dyed Turkey Red, and made of 
cotton, or linen, or both." In February, i8i5,the Primrose printer patented 
certain " improvements in the process of printing cloth," consisting of 
the art of printing earthy or metallic solutions, such as the sulphate, 
acetate, or nitrate of alumina, iron, or copper, on cloth already dyed. 
Mr. Thomson, finding some of his most original designs pirated by 
unprincipled competitors, took a leading part in procuring the passage 
of an Act of Parliament for the protection of the inventor of any pattern 
within a period fixed by the Act. When the Primrose print-works 
were at the height of their activity, near 500 operative printers were 
employed on the premises, besides large numbers of men engaged in 
bleaching and other departmental processes. The most skilful chemists 


were engaged in the laboratories of this firm, and able engravers in the 
cutting of patterns. About the year 1840, Dr. Lyon Playfair, who now 
sits in Parliament as Member for the Scottish Universities, accepted an 
appointment as experimental chemist from Mr. Thomson, and gave the 
Primrose print-works the benefit of his chemical knowledge for two or 
three years. Mr. Thomson was a liberal patron of men eminent in 
science, literature, and art, and among his personal friends was the poet 
Campbell, who sometime sojourned at Primrose as the guest of Mr. 
Thomson, and whose portrait was painted by an eminent artist, at 
Primrose House, at the order of Mr. Thomson, who paid five hundred 
guineas for the work. Mr. Thomson died, aged 72 years, on the 17th 
of September, 1850, and four years afterwards the works at Primrose 
were stopped. These extensive premises, once the seat of one of the 
most celebrated industries in the county, have now for twenty years 
been abandoned to decay. 

A family that should be mentioned as having built up a large 
business in calico printing in the vicinity of Blackburn is that of the 
Turners, whose works at Mill Hill, in Livesey township, about a mile 
south-west of Blackburn, were once of considerable note, but have now 
been discontinued about thirty years. Mr. Robert Turner, a son of Mr. 
Thomas Turner, of Martholme, in Great Harwood, settled in Black- 
bum as a "chapman," or dealer in calico woven on the hand- 
looms. It is probable that this gentleman commenced calico printing 
at Mill Hill some years before his death (Oct. 17th, 181 1, aged 
77) ; for Dr. Aikin notices, in 1794, that a mile from Blackburn on the 
Preston Old Road was " a large printing-ground." The calico-printing 
trade was prosecuted by Mr. Turner's sons, Thomas, John, Robert, and 
William Turner, all of Mill Hill. The Mill Hill works of this family 
extended along the bank of the Darwen river from Stakes, in Livesey, 
to the site of an existing weaving shed below Mill Hill House. In 
i822j the Turners appear to have had two separate businesses in calico- 
printing. One was carried on at Mill Hill by the firm of Robert Turner, 
junior, & Co., and the other by Mr. Thomas Turner, whose works 
were situated at Stakes, in Livesey, and his house or warehouse at <)2, 
Darwen Street, in Blackburn. Mr. Thomas and Mr. John Turner, 
the first and third sons of Mr. Robert Turner, both died in the 
year 1825. Mr. Robert Turner (the son), died in 1842. Mr. William 
Turner, the youngest of the brothers, was one of the first Members 
returned to Parliament for the borough of Blackburn on its enfranchise- 
ment in 1832 ; and he sat as M.P. for Blackburn in three succeeding 
Parliaments. He had acquired a landed estate in Cheshire, and had a 
seat at Shrigley Hall in that county. He died at Mill Hill, July 1 7th, 


1842, aged 65. The Mill Hill print-works and estate were sold in 1843 
to the late Mr. Joseph Eccles, of Mill Hill House, who demolished the 
old print shops, and erected on their site the Mill Hill Mills, about the 
year 1844. 

Other former firms of printers in the Parish are those of Greenway, 
Potter, and Co., of Over Darwen ; and C. Swainson and Co., Banister 
Hall Print-works, in Walton. With the exception of the last-named firm, 
th^t of Messrs. Swainson, which is yet in the business, the calico printing 
branch of the cotton manufacture, once so valuable and so widely diffused 
in this part of Lancashire, has at the present time hardly an existence 
throughout the parish of Blackburn. 

The start in the English cotton manufacture, strictly so called, 
dates from the year 1774, when Parliament passed an Act reducing the 
duty of sixpence per yard upon fabrics made wholly of cotton (which 
amounted to a prohibition), to threepence per yard. The preamble of 
this Act recites that " whereas a new manufacture of stuffs wholly made 
of cotton wool hath been set up within this Kingdom," it is enacted 
that " no higher duty than threepence for every yard in length reckoning 
a yard wide shall be imposed ;" and that " it shall be lawful for any 
person to wear any new manufacture made wholly of cotton." In 
Blackburn it is a tradition that the first cotton piece woven was made 
for Mr. Bertie Markland (a local merchant who built the house in King- 
street in which Mr. Hornby afterwards resided), by a weaver at Copster 
Green. But there is another claimant for the honour of having woven 
the first piece of calico, according to the following entry in a family 
Bible at Rishton : — " 1 5th of Sept., 1776. Thomas Duxbury, of Rishton 
near Blackburn, sold to Messrs. Peels, Yates, and Co., Church Bank, 
two common fine calico pieces for ^^5 9s. 8d. These were the first 
calico pieces ever manufactured in the kingdom." John and Thomas 
Duxbury built, it is said, at Rishton, the first hand-loom weaving shop 
in the district ; and in 1779 a weaver at Duxbury's "shop" was paid 
j£i 1 6s. for weaving a piece of calico, out of which he had to pay i8s. 
6d. to his family or others for carding the cotton and spinning the weft. 

In 1785, the Lancashire manufacturers and merchants became 
affrighted at the prospect of competition by Irish traders, in whose 
interest certain resolutions were presented to Parliament ; and petitions 
were sent from Blackburn and other towns to the House of Commons, 
praying for consideration. The Journals of the House record the 
reception of the Blackburn petition as under : — 

Resolved, " That this House will, this Day, resolve itself into a Committee of the 
whole House, to consider further of so much of His Majesty's most gracious Speech 


to both Houses of Parliament, upon the 25th day of January last, as relates to the 
adjustment of the Commercial Intercourse between Great Britain and Ireland. " In 
Committee of the House, "a Petition of the Merchants, Cotton and Callico Manufac- 
turers, and other Traders of the Town and Neighbourhood of Blackburn, in the County 
Palatine of Lancaster, was presented to the House and read, setting forth, That the 
Petitioners, with every consistent wish for the prosperity of their Fellow Subjects in 
Ireland, are desirous that a lasting Plan may be adopted to put the Interest of the two 
Kingdoms upon a just and equitable footing as to Commerce in general, but, from the 
Resolutions lately brought before the House, respecting the Trade of Ireland, they 
are fearful that they will tend to very great injury of the Manufactures throughout this 
Kingdom, and of this part of Lancashire in particular : And therefore praying, That 
the Merchants, Cotton and Callico Manufacturers, and other Traders of the Town and 
Neighbourhood of Blackburn, in the County of Lancaster, may be heard in support of 
this Petition, by themselves and Counsel, at the Bar of the House." It was thereupon 
" Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the consideration of the Committee of 
the whole House," &c. 

The category of merchants, warehousemen, sizers, and cotton 
spinners who assisted in the estabHshment of the local trade between 
1770 and 1830 includes the names of Sudell of Blackburn ; Markland of 
Blackburn ; Fleming of Blackburn ; Feilden of Blackburn ; Birley of 
Blackburn ; Cardwell of Blackburn ; Smalley of Over Darwen ; Eccles 
of Lower Darwen ; and, somewhat later, the Hornbys, Pilkingtons, 
Rodgetts, Liveseys, Hopwoods, and Eccles of Blackburn ; Shorrock of 
Over Darwen, &c. Notices of these families will be given later on in this 
history. The commercial descriptions applied to the local traders were, 
in succession, those of "chapman," "merchant," "sizer," and "cotton 
spinner and manufacturer," expressing the evolutions of the manu- 
facture, from the time antecedent to the spinning machine, the steam 
engine, and the power-loom, when the smaller gentry and yeomanry who 
had accumulated a little capital employed it in putting-out material and 
receiving the woven pieces from the handloom weavers, and did their 
business in warehouses in which the goods were stored and packed for 
the market, down to the present highly-elaborated mill system, in which 
the master-capitalist and the perfected machinery leave to the operative 
craftsman so comparatively secondary a part in the process of the 

The absorption of this once scattered manufacture into the factories 
involved a corresponding concentration of labour in the towns, and the 
migration of the weaving peasantry from the rural upland townships 
into the towns and villages of the valleys. The first buildings erected 
in the town of Blackburn specifically for the reception of cotton spinning 
machinery were those at Wensley Fold and at Spring Hill. The mill- 
building on Spring Hill, afterwards called " Factory Hill," is the oldest 
in Blackburn ; the place was built by a Mr. Anderton. Robert Hopwood, 


the founder of the great firm of Hopwood and Sons in Blackburn, came 
from the neighbourhood of Clitheroe to start the machinery in this mill, 
and lived in one of four houses adjacent. Mr. Anderton cannot have 
long continued in occupancy, for it is stated that in the year 1797 this 
factory was being worked by Mr. Samuel Horrocks, brother of Mr. John 
Horrocks, afterwards M.P. for Preston. Mr. Samuel Horrocks removed 
to Preston, and the place was afterwards worked by Mr. Richard 
Haworth. The building remains, and is a small brick structure, situated 
upon the rising ground to the east of Station-road. 

The old mill at Wensley-Fold, near the western boundary of the 
town, demolished a few years ago, was built sometime before 1795. 
Baines says the first spinning mill at Wensley Fold was erected before 
the year 1 779, and was demolished in the disturbances of that year. In 
1823 the Wensley Fold factory is named as one of the largest in Black- 
bum, and as employing 320 hands. The Wensley Fold Mills afterwards 
passed to the late Mr. William Eccles. 

Several other spinning mills were built in Blackburn between 1800 
and 1825. Mr. James Livesey, father of Mr. John Livesey, built the mill 
on the banks of the Blakewater, below King-street Bridge, destroyed by 
fire in May, 1840, and afterwards rebuilt. Mr. William Feilden, of 
Feniscowles, who entered Parliament in 1832, and was created a Baronet, 
commenced an extensive cotton-spinning business in the factory erected 
in Harley-street, the original portion of the large mills now carried on by 
Mr. R. R. Jackson. Mr. William Thorp built the mill called King- 
street Mill ; and Mr. James Rodgett the old stone mill on the canal- 
side near Eanam Bridge. These were all the considerable mills in 
Blackburn in the year 1824. A little later, Messrs. Hornby and Birley, 
who had for a number of years carried on business as calico manufac- 
turers and merchants, at their warehouse in Clayton-street, erected the 
first spinning mill at Brookhouse, where they had previously a size-house, 
a small stone structure which has but lately been demolished to make 
room for enlargement of this now very extensive range of mills. By the 
improvements in machinery subsequently introduced by Mr. Kenworthy, 
a partner with the Messrs. Hornby, the Brookhouse Mills became cele- 
brated in the trade. 

The late Mr. Eccles Shorrock, of Low Hill House, Over Darwen, 
was the first cotton spinner on a large scale in that township. It was by 
him that the Bowling-green Mill was built at the south end of Darwen 
about forty years ago, and other mills subsequently, and he was the 
original head of the firm which built the splendid India Mills in Darwen, 
in 1 866^7. 

The " Dandy " Factory in Blackburn, erected by Messrs. Bannister 



Eccles and Co., about 1820, derived its popular appellation from the 
circumstance of the introduction there of an improved hand-loom, in 
which a light iron frame work was substituted for the heavy wooden 
frame of the old loom, and which was christened the "dandy" loom on 
account of its neatness and compactness. But it was, I believe, at the 
same mill that the invention in weaving machinery so much dreaded 
by the weavers of fifty years ago^the power-loom — was first started in 
Blackburn. This was about the year 1825. The power-loom had then 
been gradually appearing in the large weaving-shops of the Lancashire 
manufacturers for some years, and had already been subjected to the 
destructive attacks of the angered weavers in West Houghton and other 
places. The master-manufacturers of the Blackburn district, remem- 
bering the fury with which the hand-loom weavers had opposed the 
spinning jennies on their introduction, were slower in the adoption 
of the power-loom than the capitalists engaged in the textile trades in 
other parts of England ; for, while it was computed that there were more 
than 12,000 power-looms at work in England in 1820, there were not 
probably a thousand power-looms in all the factories in Blackburn 
Hundred at the close of the year 1825. The hand-looms at that time 
numbered many thousands in the district. 

It was an untoward coincidence that at the time the valuable inven- 
tion of the power-loom was making its way in the Lancashire factories, 
the trade and commerce of the country were in a state of utter stagna- 
tion. Great numbers of the peasantry of the county, wholly dependent 
upon the occupation of calico-weaving for subsistence, were deprived of 
this employment ; and it was not strange that the half-starved hand-loom 
weavers should regard with suspicion a new invention that threatened to 
aggravate the already terrible hardship of their situation. At the outset 
of the year 1826 the condition of the working-classes in Blackburn was 
deplorable. In March, 1826, a computation was made that in the 
townships of Blackburn, Witton, Lower Darwen, Rishton, Mellor, and 
part of Oswaldtwistle, with a collective population of about 32,000 souls, 
the number of persons depending for work upon the cotton manufacture 
was 10,686, — a large proportion of the adult and adolescent papulation 
of these townships; and that the state of emplojTnent about the 25th of 
March, 1826, was as follows : — Employed, 2,807; half-employed, 1,467; 
unemployed, 6,412. Thus about two-thirds of the workfolk in the Black- 
bum district were in a state of absolute indigence. The results of this 
industrial desolation were seen at first in aimless and desultory acts of 
violence. On the night of March 24th, the residence of William Carr, 
Esq., Clerk to the County Justices, at Shadsworth, Blackburn, was 
assaulted by a mob ; and for this offence eight of the ringleaders were 


apprehended and sent to prison. Four days afterwards, the local 
journals record, March 28th, 1826, that at Blackburn one of the market 
coaches between Blackburn and Manchester was pelted with stones, by 
an angry crowd of people in the street, and a similar incident occurred 
on the 22nd of April. These demonstrations against the coaches were, 
doubtless, directed against the local merchants and manufacturers 
going to Manchester to market, whom the hungry people supposed 
to be the authors of all their misfortunes. The distressed weavers held 
assemblies, took counsel of their fears, and came to the resolution to 
rise and destroy the power-looms in every factory in which they were 
known to be working. 

The following is a brief record of the incidents of the loom-breaking 
disturbances: — On the forenoon of Monday, April 24th, 1826, amass 
meeting of weavers was held on Enfield Moor, a convenient rendezvous, 
being near the junction of roads from Blackburn, Burnley, Whalley and 
Clitheroe, and Haslingden and Accrington. After listening to several 
addresses, the crowd was detached into two or three parties, which set 
forth on their task of destruction. Five hundred of the men who met 
at Enfield were armed with rude pikes made with pieces of sharpened 
iron attached to staves, scythes, sledge-hammers, with a few guns and 
pistols. A body of the rioters proceeded first to Accrington, about 
noon, broke into the newly-built mill of Messrs. Sykes ; and in less than 
half an hour had broken up sixty power-looms, with the other machinery, 
had destroyed the warps and cloth in the looms, and had injured the 
spinning throstles and the steam engine. The shops of the provision 
dealers in Accrington were plundered. The mob went on to Wood 
Nook, and broke twenty looms at work there ; then to a factory of Mr. 
Benjamin Walmsley's, at Rough Hey, and destroyed twenty looms ; next 
the rioters marched to White Ash Mill, belonging to Mr. James Bury, 
and found there 74 power looms, which were rapidly reduced to frag- 
ments. From White Ash the mob, of some 6,000 men, marched in the 
direction of Blackburn. On the road they encountered a troop of 
eighteen dragoons of the Queen's Bays, who rode through the mass, but 
did not arrest the progress of the insurgents. On reaching Blackburn, 
by Eanam and Salford, the mob first looked about for refreshment. A 
party took forcible possession of the Bay Horse Inn, and under compul- 
sion the landlady served a large quantity of drink, and gave away all the 
bread in the house. The work of devastation was resumed at the Dandy 
Factory, off Dar^ven-street, belonging to Messrs. Bannister Eccles and 
Co. Here 212 power looms were found and smashed. This was about 
three o'clock in the afternoon. Immediately after the mob and the 
military came into collision in Uarwen-street. 'l"he rioters began the 



fray by stoning the dragoons, and one soldier was seriously hurt. The 
Riot Act was read at half-past three o'clock. While a number of the 
rioters were still within the mill of Messrs. Eccles, completing the work 
of breakage, the detachment of cavalry had managed to surround the 
building, and some of the men inside the place, finding their exit barred 
leaped out of a second storey window and escaped across the Blake- 
water, where no soldiers were posted. The main body of the rioters 
proceeded to the factory of Messrs. Feilden, Thorp, and Townley, in 
King-street, which was built for the reception of power-looms, but none 
of the new machines had yet been set up, and the building was left 
untouched by the mob. Another body of the weavers went up to a small 
mill of Mr. John Houghton's, in Grimshaw Park, and destroyed twenty- 
five power-looms in that manufactory, in spite of the attempted interpo- 
sition of the military. The warps and twist in the place were thrown 
into the canal. Here there was bloodshed and loss of life, for the mob 
having again stoned the soldiers, some of them fired off their carbines, 
by which one rioter was shot dead, another was. severely wounded 
in the back, and a third was shot through the ear, the ball passing out 
at the mouth. There were other fatalities during the conflict. 

In the evening of the day, ten thousand excited weavers triumphantly 
paraded the streets of Blackburn, and were able to say that not a single 
power-loom in the neighbourhood had been left unbroken. The Riot 
Act was again read, and at eight o'clock the dragoons were bidden to 
clear the streets, which was done by charging through the crowd and 
striking the rioters with the flat edge of the soldiers' sabres. 

On Wednesday, April 26th, the demolition of all the power-looms 
at work in Rossendale was carried out by a similar mob. Altogether in 
Rossendale 215 power-looms were broken up, and other damage inflicted. 
The rioters also visited Darwen, and broke thirty-six looms in the factory 
of Mr. James Garsden, and sixteen in that of Messrs. Carr. Throughout 
the Hundred of Blackburn the total number of looms destroyed was 
768, and the estimate of the damage committed, which was subsequently 
recovered from the County authorities, was ^11,593 i6s. 11 d., besides 
the sums of ;^4,458 for the 219 looms and other machinery destroyed 
in Salford Hundred, and of ^^489 for 100 looms broken in the factory 
of Mr. Sudell at Chorley in Leyland Hundred. Some of the losses 
sustained were not included in the above category of claims at the 
County Sessions, and it was computed that in all nearly 1,000 looms 
were destroyed, and that the aggregate value of the property ruined 
approached ;^3o,ooo. 

For the offences committed in the course of these lawless proceed- 
ings a number of the rioters were indicted at the Lancaster Assizes in 

• THE DISTRESS IN 1826. 235 

the August succeeding the riots. Of the batches of Blackburn prisoners 
several were acquitted, and the following were convicted and sentenced 
to imprisonment : — James Chambers, Simeon Wright, Richard Entwistle, 
William Winder, John Howard, James Riding, William Sutcliffe, Richard 
Kay, James Latham, James Ormerod, and James Howard. The six 
last-named were particularly charged with having taken part in breaking 
the looms at the mill of Bannister Eccles and Co. The evidence of the 
late Mr. Eccles Shorrock, one of the partners, describes what took place 
at this manufactory during the riots :• — 

Mr. Eccles Shorrock deposed : — I had a cotton mill in Blackburn, in April last, 
for spinning and weaving by power looms. My partners were. Bannister Eccles, 
Joseph Eccles, and John Eccles. On the 14th of April last, about three o'clock in 
the afternoon, I saw a mob of persons coming towards my mill. The outer gates and 
the doors of the lower rooms, containing 212 power looms, a lathe, and other machinery, 
were locked. In the upper rooms there were dressing machines. The looms in the 
lower rooms were fastened down to the stone floor by a hole drilled into the stone, and 
a wooden peg driven into it. The power of motion is communicated to those looms 
by a steam engine, which is on the premises. The mob consisted of several hundred 
persons. After they broke open the gates, one party formed to the side of the mill. 
That party, consisting of about thirty persons, were armed with pikes. There was an 
equal number similarly armed on the other side of the mill. Others of the party broke 
in the doors of the mill, which I entered in about thirty-five minutes afterwards. I 
was in the warehouse, which overlooks, and I saw the people break into the mill, and 
shortly afterwards they brought out the twist beams (part of the power-loom), and 
several pieces of cloth which had been in the looms. The cloth was torn in the yard 
in the presence of the mob. The doors appeared as if they had been broken by large 
hammers. The looms in the lower rooms were all broken. The cast-iron wheels and 
the drums of the engine were broken. It would require considerable force to break 
them. The shafts were thrown down, but they being made of wrought iron, about an 
inch and a quarter in diameter, could not be broken. The shafts were in cups or 
gallowses, which must either have been broken or forced before the shafts could be 
thrown down. 

After these disturbances the commercial depression increased 
rather than diminished, and the state of the working population in the 
district was for many months most distressing. The poor rates were 
enormously high, and the machinery of the Poor Law being unequal 
to the necessity, a public subscription was inaugurated. The King 
(George IV.) kindly forwarded, through the first Sir Robert Peel, a 
donation of _;^i,ooo for the relief of the starving weavers of Blackburn 
and the neighbourhood. The adult male indigent were employed 
during the distress in cutting a road through the rock on the summit of 
Revidge hill, and at this spot a memorial stone is inscribed : — " Mount 
Pleasant, Revedge. — The Road at this Place was made by removing 
the Rock during the Distress in 1826 & 7." 

In the interval of half-a-century, from 1826 to the present time, the 


cotton manufacture, stimulated and facilitated by the continuous 
improvements of steam-driven spinning and weaving machines, and by 
the organisation of the factory system, has become the chief productive 
industry and means of popular subsistence in this as in many other 
Lancashire parishes. With the decline of calico printing, the district 
has been rendered almost solely dependent upon cotton spinning and 
manufacturing for its commercial prosperity and importance ; and albeit 
the cotton trade has been liable to periodical panics and suspensions, 
which while they lasted greatly afflicted all classes of the people,' the 
substantial increase of local wealth by this commerce is everywhere 
visible. Blackburn parish at this date contains, besides the chief seats 
of the cotton trade in the large towns of Blackburn and Over Darwen, 
the considerable manufacturing villages of Great Harwood, Rishton, 
Lower Darwen, Hoddlesden, Cherrytree-in-Livesey, Bamber Bridge and 
Moon's Mill in Walton township, and Walton village ; and there are also 
a number of isolated cotton mills in the townships of Billington, Mellor, 
Samlesbury, Eccleshill, and Tockholes. The only townships in the 
parish exclusively given up to agriculture are those of Pleasington, 
Yate-and-Pickup-Bank, Ramsgreave, Wilpshire, Dinkley, Salesbury, 
Clayton-in-le-Dale, Osbaldeston, Balderstone, and Cuerdale, having 
^ a population of 3,281 only of the 132,744 in the whole parish at the 

Census of 1871. At the same Census in the Registration District of 
Blackburn (which takes in Oswaldtwistle without the parish (14,733) but 
excludes Walton (9,057), representing an industrial district of which the 
town of Blackburn is the centre, its total population being 143,810 
persons of all ages), of 74,760 persons aged 20 and upwards, there were 
entered : — of the Professional Class 1,065 > Domestic Class 20,829 > 
Commercial Class 2,055 ; Agricultural Class 2,030; Industrial Class 
45,629; Indefinite and non-productive Class 3,152. The Industrial 
Class includes 3,804 males, 15 females, engaged in Mechanic produc- 
tions; 16,799 males, '^jSS^ females, engaged in making textile fabrics 
and dress ; 3,488 males, 1 7 females, working in minerals (coal mines 
and stone quarries). The 35,351 adults working in textile fabrics are 
nearly all engaged in the various occupations of the cotton manufacture, 
and to them must be added about an equal number of juvenile workers, 

1 There was great local distress by reason of the depression of the staple trade in 1847, ^^d again 
in 1857. Through the terrible Cotton Famine of 1861-5, the Blackburn district suffered excessively : 
and at the worst strait of the distress, towards the end of the year 1862, in the town of Blackburn alone 
32.000 persons had become dependent upon charity. The Blackburn Relief Committee distributed 
about j^ in relief during the famine : the Corporation paid ;i^i2.5oo for labour of factory workers: 
and the Poor Law Guardians expended in relief in Blackburn nearly ^70,000. The charity of the 
religious bodies, and of private individuals, over and above these general payments, was extensive. 
Full and exact details of this period of abeyance in trade have been recorded by Mr. William Gourlay, 
in his excellent " History of the Distress in Blackburn, 1861-5," 8vo., 1865. 


from 8 to 20 years of age, the services of young persons and children 
being more largely used in the Blackburn district than elsewhere in this 
trade, by reason of the weaving department being here the principal 
branch pursued, and requiring more young workers than the spinning 
branch. Within the strict limits of Blackburn parish in the year 1875, 
not fewer than 55,000 persons of all ages were at work in the cotton 
mills and subsidiary trades, of whom 36,000 were engaged in the factories 
in the townships of Blackburn, Witton, Livesey, &c., forming constituents 
of the town proper of Blackburn ; 9,000 in Over Darwen and Hoddlesden ; 
and the remaining 10,000 in Great Harwood, Rishton, Lower Darwen, 
and Walton townships, &c. The machinery for the production of cotton 
cloths in the parish would be represented roundly by 2,000,000 
spindles and 70,000 power looms ; driven by steam engines whose 
collective power would amount probably to 15,000 horse-power. 


Down to about a century ago, good public roads were a conveni- 
ence almost unknown in Lancashire. No English county was more 
notorious for the badness of its highways. The local road system as it 
existed before the first of the new road trusts came into being is not 
now easy to trace out. A few of the ancient lines of highway have been 
followed by the new roads through their entire length, but these have 
been transformed by widening, straightening, levelling, and paving. 
Others of the original roads coalesce with the modem highways at some 
points, and elsewhere are only to be discovered in isolated remains, 
inclosed between high hedges, choked with bramble, and rarely trodden 
by human foot. Other old lines of road have been abandoned entirely 
for new routes of directer course and easier gradient. An observation 
of some undisturbed stretch of forsaken upland road illustrates the 
opposite principles of ancient and modern road structure. The old 
roads, being generally intended merely for use by travellers on foot and 
horseback, in hilly districts were frequently carried along the summit of 
the ridges, so as to escape the necessity for building strong bridges to 
cross the streams that augment on the lower ground. The roads were 
apparently made by digging out the earth until the rock was reached, 
where the substratum was rock, and by using the soil thus removed to 
make a high copse on both sides of the road. The level of the road is 
thus often several feet below that of the land on either side, and forming 
an open channel for the drainage of the fields abutting, becomes more 
like a mountain beck than a highway in the rainy season. These old 
roads were very narrow, — not more than one-fourth the width of some 
of the modem turnpikes ; and seem to have been seldom repaired, nor 


more scientifically than by the deposit of unbroken boulder stones in 
the larger holes and ruts. 

The most important ancient road in the district was the highway 
from Preston to Blackburn, Burnley, and Colne, into West Yorkshire. 
The road crossed the Ribble at Walton Bridge, and the Darwen over 
Darwen Bridge, in the village of Walton, and branched from the Wigan 
Road near Cuerden Green. The road then wound, as now, round the 
southern side of Hoghton Tower Hill to Riley Green and Feniscowles, 
through the townships of Livesey and Witton, to Blackburn. From 
Blackburn the road proceeded by Whitebirk through the townships of 
Rishton and Clayton-in-les-Moors, to Altham, and crossing the Calder at 
Altham Bridge, passed through Padiham, and so on the skirts of the 
Ightenhill demesne to Burnley. The present route from. Preston to 
Blackburn, and from Blackburn to Burnley, follows generally the old 
line of road, but these roads have been so greatly improved under the 
provisions of road trusts that it is impossible to realise their former 
condition. Traces of several wayside crosses betoken the antiquity of 
this east and west route through the Hundred. 

From Blackburn to Preston there was a second but indifferent 
road by way of Ribblesdale. Some remains of this road are still visible, 
though the old track was in several parts obliterated by the construction 
of the new Preston turnpike in 1825. The old road left the town of 
Blackburn at Little Peel, and ascended Duke's Brow to Revidge; 
continued down the other slope to Beardwood ; near Beardwood are 
still two hedge-bound portions of this disused road, from which a notion 
may be formed of its pristine character. Forward, the road is covered 
for some distance by the new one, but it reappears in the vicinity of 
Mellor, and trends to the west through the township of Samlesbury by 
Samlesbury Green. It reached the Ribble opposite Brockholes, which 
was crossed by a ford or ferry. 

The road from Blackburn in a south-westerly direction, through 
Tockholes to Longworth and Sharpies, is one of considerable age, and 
was anciently the only available road from Blackburn to Bolton. 

The ancient road from Blackburn into the valley of the Irwell, 
to Bury and Manchester (following closely the track of the Roman 
road built by Agricola) rises out of the valley at Blackburn, and having 
topped the ridge at Lower Darwen, maintains the summit level through 
Eccleshill and Blacksnape, and enters the Hundred of Salford at Grime 
Hills. This road is continued in the opposite direction from Black- 
bum up Shire Brow, and there divides into two roads, one by Rams- 
greave Heights to Showley and Ribchester, and the other by the hamlet 
of Pleckgate in the direction of Salesbury. 


The old road from Blackburn to Whalley and Clitlieroe proceeded 
by Cob Wall, behind Little Harwood Hall, and past Bank Hey to the 
top of Wilpshire Moor at Snodworth Cross, continuing along the ridge 
of Billington Moor to the Nab (where it is now called the Old Nab-road), 
and, bending to the north, descends the Nab very steeply to Calder 
Bridge at the entrance to Whalley. From Whalley to Clitheroe the 
road formerly deviated from the direct line of the existing highway, 
passing by Standen Hall to the Four Lane Ends, where is the base of 
an ancient wayside Cross, and then turning towards Clitheroe by the 
Pendleton and Clitheroe road. 

Another ancient road in the Parish that should be mentioned is 
one which crosses the valley of the Darwen from east to west, beginning 
at Pickup Bank heights and ending among the opposite hills of Tockholes 
township. Tradition says it was once the only road across this part of 
the country from Preston to Haslingden, and it is most likely a portion 
of that old pack-horse road called the " Limersgate," which traversed 
the northern side of the Forest of Rossendale, and is said to have been 
at one time the principal means of communication between the west of 
Lancashire and the eastern side of the kingdom.' The road descends 
from Pickup Bank heights, and entering Long Hey Lane a little to the 
south of the Independent School, crosses Pickup Bank Brook into the 
township of Over Darwen, a short distance from the village of Hod- 
dlesden. The track successively passes Meadowhead Farm and 
Langshaw Head ; it then proceeds by Whitehall to Bury Fold, and past 
Astley Bank to Radfield Fold. The road is continued from Radfield 
along the slope of Darwen Moor to Sunnyhurst Clough, where it crosses 
the glen and ascends Winter Hill into Tockholes township, which it 
crosses in a westerly direction. There are some traces of the old road 
from Blackburn to Darwen through Lower Darwen and Darwen Chapels. 

Between the years 1770 and 1780 the first projects were started 
for the reconstruction of the road system of this part of the country. 
In the adjoining parts of Yorkshire, the celebrated blind road-maker, 
John Metcalf, known popularly as "Blind Jack of Knaresborough," 
had been employed in making some new public roads, one of the first 
being the road between Harrogate and Boroughbridge, completed about 
the year 1766. John Metcalf, though totally blind, had displayed 
so much skill in this department of engineering during the construc- 
tion of the Yorkshire roads that his fame extended into Lancashire, and 
his success encouraged Lancashire capitalists, sorely in need of roads 
for the conveyance of their merchandise, to promote schemes for the 
accomplishment of this object. 

I Old Roads, &c.. of Darwen, by W. T. Ashton, p. 6. 



Several of the main roads in the Hundred east of Blackburn were 
made under the plans of Metcalf, including the new roads from Black- 
bum to Haslingden, from Bury to Haslingden, from Haslingden to 
Accrington, and from Burnley to Colne. Metcalf's first undertaking in 
the district was the road from Blackburn to Haslingden and Bury, 
which surmounts the hills of Lower Darwen and Oswaldtwistle, passing 
through Haslingden Grane into the valley of the Irwell. This road was 
planned about the year 1789. Though traversing high ground, and 
crossing a wild moorland, it is an excellent road, and not difficult for 
cart traffic. This road was a portion of the undertaking of the Elton 
and Blackburn Trust. The road between Haslingden and Accrington, 
with a branch to Bury, is stated by Mr. Smiles to have been the last 
line of road built by Metcalf, and it was also " one of the most difficult 
he had undertaken." Among the ancient roads improved about the 
same period was that of the Old Preston and Blackburn turnpike, 
diverted, widened and re-bridged under the provisions of the Black- 
bum and Walton Cop Trust ; and by another Trust the old road 
from Blackburn to Burnley was entirely transformed. About the year 
1798 an important new road from Blackburn to Bolton was carried 
along the upper portion of the Darwen Valley, through the town of Over 
Darwen, by the Bolton and Blackburn Road Tmst ; and more recently a 
useful road was carried from Walton Bridge, through the southern town- 
ships of Ribblesdale, to Whalley, in connection with which are branches 
from Blackbum to Whalley and from Whalley to Clitheroe. Two 
essential modem lines of road remain to be mentioned, both of which 
were carried out some fifty years ago, viz., the new route from Black- 
bum to Accrington by way of Knuzden and Church Kirk, and forward 
from Accrington to Burnley by Huncoat and Habergham Eaves ; and 
the new Blackbum and Preston road through Mellor and Samlesbury. 
The first of these is a much shorter line from Blackbum to Burnley than 
the older route by Rishton, Clayton-in-les-Moors, and Padiham. The 
Preston New Road, constructed in 1825, brought the town of Blackburn 
within eight miles and a half of Preston by the highway, instead of 
eleven miles by the ancient road through Livesey, Hoghton, and Walton. 
Twenty years after the latest of these excellent roads was opened, the 
first Railroad through the district was completed, and thereby a 
revolution in the system of inland conveyance was inaugurated. But in 
spite of the celerity of transport offered by the Railway Companies, the 
good roads which had been previously made in every part of the country 
have not lost their utility. They are still well-travelled, and the tolls 
usually suffice for the maintenance of the roads in repair. 

The Journals of the House of Commons contain the following 


notices of Petitions and Bills relating to some of the earlier schemes for 
the construction or re-construction of local roads submitted to Parlia- 
ment, and for which Acts were obtained : — 

In the i6th Geo. III. (1776) a Bill was presented for "repairing and widening 
the Road from the Market Cross in the Township of Clitheroe, to Salford Bridge in 
the Town of Blackburn." — In the 2gth Geo. III. (1789), a petition was laid before 
Parliament of Gentlemen, Clergy, Freeholders, and others, showing "that the Roads 
from the Town of Bury to the Town of Haslingden, and from thence to the Town of 
Blackburn, &c. , are in a ruinous state, narrow, and incommodious, and it would be 
advantageous to the neighbourhood, and of public utility, if the same were properly 
amended, widened, and kept in repair." A Bill was introduced the same year, "for 
amending, widening, turning, varying, altering, and keeping in repair, the Road from 
a certain Dwelling-house in Bury, now or late in the occupation of Wm. Walker, 
Gentleman, to Haslingden, and from thence to the east end of Salford Bridge, in 
Blackburn, and also the Road from Haslingden aforesaid to the east end of Cockshutt 
Bridge, in the Town of Whalley, and also the Road from Haslingden aforesaid, 
through Newchurch and Bacup, to Todmorden. " — In the 33rd Geo. III. (1793), Sir 
Henry Hoghton presented a Bill, which was passed, "for more effectually repairing 
the road from Blackburn to Burscough Bridge." — On the 14th Feb., 1797, a Petition 
of Merchants, Landowners, Manufacturers of Cotton, &c. , living in Blackburn, Over 
Darwen, and Bolton, was presented to the House, setting forth that the road leading 
from Bolton through the village of Over Darwen to Blackburn was a high-road, about 
fifteen miles in length, in which were several steep hills, some rising seven inches at 
the yard ; that the same road was very indirect and circuitous, with many windings 
and turnings, and ' ' in many places so narrow, bad, and founderous, that carts and 
carriages loaded cannot pass to and from the said towns of Bolton and Blackburn 
without much difficulty ;" that the said road might be diverted and shortened to twelve 
miles, with gradients of not more than two inches in the yard ; but could not be 
widened or amended by the laws in being, which was to the danger of passengers, to 
the prejudice of trade in general, and especially of the Cotton Manufactures carried on 
in Blackburn and Bolton and the villages between ; and praying that leave be given 
to straighten, widen, divert, and amend the said road, and to erect turnpikes upon it. 
A Bill was passed the same Session providing for the reconstruction of this important 

In the Blackburn Mail for August, 1797, it was notified that on Friday, 
August 25th, "at the house of John Haworth, the sign of the Golden Cup, in 
Lower, Darwen," would be let "the forming, fencing, and making a Road from 
the Golden Cup to the top of Fearnhurst Eyes, being about 90 perches ;" plans to be 
seen at Mr. Pettinger's, surveyor, Bolton, and information to be had also from Mr. 
Edward Haworth, of Turton, attomey-at-law, and Mr. Thomas Eccles, of Lower 



A bolder undertaking than road-making, in fact, the greatest public 
work executed in Lancashire before the_ era of railroads, was the 
construction of a navigable canal between Liverpool and Leeds, 



connecting the River Mersey flowing into the Irish Sea with the Aire, 
which passes into the German Ocean. The most difficult engineering 
works upon this Canal are over that section of it which traverses the 
Hundred of Blackburn. 

Haifa century elapsed between the adoption of the project of this 
canal and its completion. Mr. Longbottom, of Halifax, the author of 
the scheme, surveyed the country between Leeds and Liverpool, and 
laid his plans before a number of capitalists in the two counties. A 
committee of gentry eventually resolved to submit the question of the 
practicability of the canal to Mr. Brindley, the ablest engineer of that 
day. Brindley made an independent survey of the country to be 
traversed by the proposed canal, and reported to meetings at Liverpool 
and Bradford, in December, 1768. The eminent engineer pronounced 
the scheme feasible, and gave as the estimate of its cost a sum of 
.£259,777. The canal as planned was to be 103^ miles in length ; 
with a width of 42 feet at the top, and a general depth of five feet. An 
Act of Parliament was obtained for the work in the loth Geo. HI. 
(1770). The canal as scheduled was to commence at Leeds Bridge, 
and to continue along the Aire valley by Armley to Shipley, with a 
branch thence to Bradford; onward by the same valley to Bingley, 
Keighley, and Skipton ; from Skipton to near Barnoldswick on the 
Lancashire border, where the canal attains its summit level of 411 feet 
above the Aire at Leeds, distant 41 miles. Of that part of the canal 
which j>asses through East Lancashire the course is indicated as 
follows : — 

The canal passes by Barnoldswick and Salterfbrd to Foulridge, where the great 
tunnel commences, whose height is 18 feet, width 17 feet, and the length 1,640 yards. 
The surface of the ground on the highest part over the tunnel is at an elevation of 60 
feet above the water in the tunnel. Within a little distance of the tunnel are two 
reservoirs, for the supply of the canal, which cover 104 acres of land, and will contain 
1,200,000 cubic yards of water. From Foulridge the canal proceeds to near Barrow- 
ford, where it locks down from the summit 70 feet towards Liverpool, crosses Colne 
Water by an aqueduct, passes near Carr Hall (a seat of Colonel Clayton's) and 
Dancer House, to the town of Burnley, which it circumscribes on three sides, and at 
which place an embankment is carried for 1,256 yards in length, at above 60 feet high, 
and aqueducts made over the Rivers Bnm and Calder, and a road aqueduct under 
the canal ; thence the canal proceeds to near Gannah, where there is another tunnel 
559 yards in length ; thence by Hapton, Altham, Clayton Hall, Enfield to Church 
Valley, whence Messrs. Peel's short branch runs to their print works at Church ; now 
crossing the river Hindburn by an aqueduct, the main line proceeds past Rishton and 
White Birk to the town of Blackburn, sweeping on the south side of this town to a 
place called Grimshaw Park, where by six locks there is a fall of 54 feet 3 inches ; 
thence passing over the Derwent [Darwen] Water by an aqueduct it nms by Livesey 
Hall, and passing Roddlesworth Water by another aqueduct, proceeds to near Chorley ; 


thence to Copthurst Valley, and here locking down 64 feet 6 inches by seven locks into 
the head level of the Lancaster Canal, at Johnson's Hillock, &c.i 

This length of the Canal, from Foulridge near Colne to Roddies- 
worth Water, which is the S.W. boundary of Blackburn Parish, thus 
required two long tunnels, three supply reservoirs (at Foulridge and 
Rishton) ; seven massive stone aqueducts ; two embankments (at 
Burnley and below Blackburn) ; and series of locks at Barrowford and 
Blackburn, by which the level of the canal is lowered 1 24 feet. 

By the Act of loth Geo. III. (1770) the Leeds and Liverpool 
Canal Company were empowered to raise a capital of ;^26o,ooo for the 
construction of this work, with further power to raise an additional 
;^6o,ooo if necessary. In July, 1 770, the work was begun simultaneously 
at the Leeds and Liverpool extremities, under the superintendence of 
Mr. Longbottom, and by the year 1777 thirty-three miles of the canal, 
from Leeds to Holmbridge near Gargrave, on the Yorkshire side, and 
twenty-eight miles, from Liverpool to Newburgh, on the Lancashire side, 
had been opened for navigation. The cost of these two sections had 
been ;^3oo,ooo for the 6 1 miles ; and the capital of the Company being 
all spent thereon, a new Act was got in the 30th Geo. III. (1790), giving 
powers to raise a further sum of _;^20o,ooo to complete the canal. Mr. 
Whitworth, the company's engineer, directed the works. In May, 1796, 
the canal was opened from Burnley to Enfield Warehouse, a distance of 
nine miles and 37 chains, and level. The 17^^ miles from Foulridge to 
Enfield cost it is said, ;^i 20,000, of which ;^9,ooo are set down for the 
Foulridge reservoirs, ^22,000 for the great embankment at Burnley, 
and _;^io,ooo for the construction of the tunnel at Ridge, a little to the 
west of Burnley. The remaining sections, from Enfield to Blackburn, 
Chorley, and Wigan, consumed fifteen years more in their construction. 
The eight-mile section between Enfield and Blackburn was opened for 
boats in June, 1810 ; and the final stretch of the canal, from Blackburn 
to Wigan, which included costly works in lockage, embankments, and 
aqueducts near Blackburn across the; valleys of the Darwen and the 
Roddlesworth, was opened in October, 1816. The navigation from 
Leeds to Liverpool was then complete. With regard to the commercial 
benefits secured to the districts through which the canal runs, Mr. 
Priestley writes : — " This gigantic concern, which was no less than 46 
years in executing, and which has cost ;^r, 200,000, has proved highly 
beneficial to the country through which it passes, giving facility to the 
transport of coal, limestone, lime for manure, and all agricultural produce, 
connecting the trade of Leeds with Liverpool and with Manchester, 
Wigan, Blackburn, Burnley, Colne, Skipton, Keighley, and Bradford."* 

I Navig. Rivers, Canals, and Railways, by Priestley, pp. 420-1. 2 lb. p. 427. 



The origin and extension of the Railroad system of transit are still 
too recent to require more than a short record of the chief events of 
local railway enterprise. A company was formed in 1 843, later called the 
East Lancashire Railway Company, which undertook the construction 
of a railroad from Preston to Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, and 
Colne, and a connecting line from Accrington to Manchester, with a 
branch for Rossendale. The works were commenced between Blackburn 
and Preston in 1 844 ; this section was completed and opened for traffic 
on Whitsun Monday, 1 846. The extension from Blackburn to Accrington 
was opened on Monday, June 19th, 1848. Another local scheme was 
inaugurated in September, 1 844, to construct a railroad from Blackburn 
to Bolton, to be styled the Blackburn, Darwen, and Bolton Railway, 
thirteen miles in length, and a company was formed with a capital of 
_;^2 50,000. This company afterwards obtained further powers to continue 
the line from Blackburn to Whalley, Clitheroe, and Chatbum, and was 
then styled the Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe, and West Yorkshire 
Railway Company. Mr. W. H. Hornby, of Blackburn, was chairman. 
A portion of this railroad between Blackburn and Darwen was opened 
for traffic in August, 1847, and, on the completion of the costly works 
of the Sough tunnel, the section from Blackburn to Bolton was opened 
on Monday, June 12th, 1848. The two companies by which these rail- 
roads were projected and carried out were eventually amalgamated, and a 
later amalgamation took place in 1854 with the Lancashire and York- 
shire Railway Company, of whose system these lines form valuable 
sections. A loop-line from Blackburn to Great Harwood and Padiham 
is in course of construction. In r864 a company was formed to construct 
a new line from Blackburn to Chorley, Wigan, and St. Helens, connecting 
at Huyton with the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, opening 
a new route between Liverpool and the towns named, and shortening 
the distance by rail between Blackburn and the towns of South-west 
Lancashire by many miles. The series of short lines to complete this 
connection, about thirty miles in length, were completed at a cost of 
^£'900,000 in 1869, and the route was opened for traffic on Dec. 1st in 
that year. The line is now used jointly by the London and North- 
Western and Lancashire and Yorkshire Companies. 



Ancient obscurity of the Town— Its aspect temp. Elizabeth— Camden's Notice— Market and Fairs- 
Descent of the Manor— De Blackburns, original lords— De Hulton and De Radcliffe— Barton— 
Belasyse, lords Fauconberg — Enclosure of Waste Lands in 1618 — Ancient Freeholders, &c. — Abbot 
—Aspinall—Barcroft— Bolton— Memoir of Revd. Robert Bolton, B.D.— Dewhurst— Edge— Lawe 
— Mawdsley — Sharpies — Ward — Whalley — Parish Church of St. Marie— Foundation and Endow- 
ment — Impropriation of the Rectory — Records of the Rectory — Lessees of Rectorial Estate — 
Records of the Vicarage— Vicarial Glebe— List of Vicars— The Old Church Fabric— The Chantries 
—Chapels— Demolition of the old and erection of the present Church— The Bells— Monuments, 
&c. — The Parish Registers — Chantry Song School— Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth — Its 
origin — Charter— Attempt to recover Chantry School Lands — Decree of 1585— The School Records 
^— Parish Contributions to augment Endowment— Original Statutes, A.D. 1597— Annals of School 
and Elections of Governors from 1593 — List of Masters — Charities of the Town— Poor Stock- 
Poor's Lands — Girls' Charity School— Minor Charities — Churches of the Establishment— Roman 
Catholic Missions, Chapels, and Convent — Nonconformist Foundations and Churches, Congrega- 
tional, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, &c.— Schools, public elementary, and private — Blackburn 
School Board — Parliamentary Borough^Elections since 1832— Municipal Borough — Charter of 
Incorporation— List of Mayors — Corporate Buildings and Institutions — Town Hall, Market 
House and Market Place, Corporation Park, Public Library, Baths, &c. — Corporation Works — Gas 
Works — Water Works — Poor Law Union — Workhouses— Burial Board and Cemetery — Blackburn 
Dispensary, and Infirmary — Exchange — Clubs — County Court — County Police Court — Savings 
Bank and other Institutions — Families of Blackburn Merchants and Modem Gentry — Ainsworth— 
Ashbumer — Armistead — Baldwin — Baron — Birley — Briggs — Cardwell — Carr— Chippendale— Cun- 
liffe — De la Pryme — Dugdale — Falkner — Fleming — Hargreaves — Haworth — Hmdie— Hopwood — 
Hornby — Leyland — Livesey — Markland — Neville — Pilkington — Rodgett — Smalley-^Sudell — 
Whalley— Wilkinson — Yates — Blackburn Inventors, Authors, &c. — Population of Township and 

THE Town of Blackburn, though possessing antiquity equal to 
many existing English towns, as a Colony of the Saxon era, 
and from unrecorded time the most considerable urban settlement in the 
shire or Hundred to which it gave a name, was not until almost within 
the memory of living natives of advanced age, ever noteworthy or 
eminent, whether on account of its populousness, its natural or artificial 
features, its civic privileges, or as a military post or focus of baronial or 
ecclesiastical authority. Other ancient towns in Blackburnshire enjoyed 
precedence in one or other of these respects. Ribchester in the centre, 
and Colne and Walton at the extremities of the Hundred, were military 


stations in the remote centuries of the Roman occupation. Clitheroe 
was the seignorial fortress of the Norman period, and a chartered 
burgh for ages subsequent. The extensive and strongly-built structure 
on the crest of Ightenhill (by Burnley), now long razed, was a royal 
manorial seat of the Plantagenets ; and the solitary Castle of Hapten 
was the stronghold of the De La Leghs, Seneschals of Blackbumshire, 
in the same period. Whalley was famed as the primitive church founda- 
tion and parochial centre of the region, and later as the site of a vast 
and stately Monastery, whose Abbots ruled as lords over all the ecclesi- 
astical estates and over many secular estates in East Lancashire. 
Through the centuries when other places surrounding were thus in 
succession promoted each to its peculiar distinction, Blackburn remained 
a common non-corporate town, without castle, abbey, or other structural 
feature to dignify its aspect to the eye of the passing pilgrim. Its 
Church of St. Marie, founded before the Conquest, was the single 
object capable of attracting notice among the cluster of timber-framed 
tenements that formed the town. The lords of the manor of Blackburn 
had from an early date been non-resident, and there was no knightly 
family of repute and power to reflect some of its lustre upon the place ; 
no goodly manorial hall within the vill to lift its front boldly above the 
level uniformity of the tenements of yeomen, husbandmen, and craftsmen. 

The names of Great Peel and Little Peel, still maintained in the 
nomenclature of spots a few yards apart on what was once the western 
outskirt of the town, are supposed to indicate the sites of two of those 
ancient square towers denominated "peels" that supplied a retreat and 
a defence rather than a home to the lords of the land in the Norman 
age. If this surmise be a right one, the situation of Great and Little 
Peel might be the domicile of the De Blackbums some seven hundred 
years ago, as the fortified manor-place of the western moiety of this 
manor ; but the " peels " that may have stood here were abandoned and 
destroyed so long ago that in the earliest documentary records of Black- 
burn there is no mention of them. An old farm-house stood at Great 
Peel until the land was appropriated as sites for mills and cottages. 

To the north of the town, at the date of the Domesday survey, and 
for some centuries after, extended a forest that covered most part of the 
present townships of Ramsgreave, Great and Little Harwood, Wilpshire, 
and Clayton, and reached from the ridge of Revidge nearly to the 
Kibble. This great woodland was preserved in the time of Edward the 
Confessor as a Royal Chace ; and remained a hunting-ground for the 
Norman Barons to whom Blackbumshire was granted after the Conquest. 
It is to be conjectured that most of the personages of rank who visited 
the town of Blackburn from the tenth to the fifteenth century were 


brought hither by the contingencies of the chace, in quest of l-efreshment 
from the hinds of this little settlement on the border of the wooded 

Onward into the Tudor period, Blackburn was still a town obscure 
and little known of strangers ; being quite out of the track of travellers 
performing the journey between London and the South and the Northern 
Counties and Scotland. Leland, the first English itinerant antiquary of 
note, who was in Lancashire about 1540, does not seem to have looked 
at Blackburn, and does not name the town, though he penetrated 
Ribblesdale from Preston as far as Ribchester and VVhalley and Salley 
Abbeys ; and crossed the Darwen and Kibble at Walton, on the way 
from Chorley to Preston. James Pilkington, the zealous Bishop of 
Durham, visited Blackburn in 1564, observing church affairs, and in a 
letter to Archbishop Parker relates an incident of his brief sojourn : — 

Among many other things that be amiss here in your great cures, ye shall under- 
stand that in Blackburn there is a fantastical (and some think a lunatic) young man, 
which says he has spoken with one of his neighbours that died four years since or more. 
Divers times he says he has seen him and talked with him, and took with him the 
Curate, the Schoolmaster, and other neighbours, which all affirm that they see him 
[the apparition] too. These things be so common here, and none of authority that 
will gainsay it, but rather believe and confinn it, that everyone believes it. It is too 
lamentable to see and hear how negligently they say any service here, and how seldom.' 

Of the moral condition of the town the good Bishop draws a 
melancholy picture ; concerning its material aspect he remarks nothing. 
The old church had been partially rebuilt a few years before, and looked 
much the same edifice it was until taken down in 1820. In the church- 
yard were the Vicarage and School-House, both dilapidated and calling 
for replacement in 1564. The street plan of the town was an irregular 
cross, the four arms being the thoroughfares of Northgate, Astley Gate 
projected towards the modem King Street, Darwen Street, and Church 
Street. Salford Bridge on the east, Dar^ven-street Bridge on the south, 
would be the limits of the main streets in those directions ; the old town 
Com Mill was near the stream at the end of a lane from Danven Street, 
long known as Mill-lane. Great part of the houses and shops forming 
the town temp. Elizabeth were grouped, gable-wise to the street, on both 
sides of the four streets named, with a few detached houses in the angles 
between those streets, and dotted over the Vicar's Glebe east of Salford 
Bridge. The town-population would not exceed 2,000 people. At the 
junction of Church-street with Darwen-street stood the chief Inn of the 
])lace, in close proximity to the Church. In the midst of the street here 
was the Market Cross, re-edified shortly before his fall by Paslew, last 
Abbot of AVhalley, in the form of a graceful floriated gothic shaft ; 

I Corresp. of Abp. Parker (Parker Society), p. 222. 


beside it were the draw-well and the town-stocks. Other ancient wells 
from which the folk of Blackburn drew their water-supplies were the 
Hallows Spring on Spring Hill (reputed for medicinal or miraculous 
curative properties), and the Folley Well, near the messuage of the 
Brook-house upon the Rectory Glebe. Such was Blackburn, as nearly 
as can now be realised, when Elizabeth ascended the throne ; and such 
it stood with but slight change or increase until the beginning of the last 

Sir Thomas Talbot, Knight, lord of Bashall and Rishton, having 
obtained a lease of the Rectory estate of Blackburn, sojourned frequently 
at Audley Hall in Blackburn in the reign of Queen Mary (1553-8), and 
being a soldier in command of a considerable force, raised for service in 
the war on the Scottish border, the presence of Sir Thomas with bodies 
of armed men must have given the town an aspect of unwonted stir and 
animation. Sir Thomas died at Audley in 1558, and, with that event, 
Blackburn life relapsed into its normal dulness. 

Camden, who traversed Lancashire near the close of the reign of 
Elizabeth, has this short reference to Blackburn : — " Below Preston the 
Ribell receives the Darwen, a small river, which first waters Blackburn, 
a noted market town (so called from a black water), which formerly 
belonged to the Lacies, and gave to the tract adjacent the name of 
Blackbumshire." It is, indeed, as Camden has it, solely as a market 
town that Blackburn was " noted " down to the period of the rise of a 
special textile manufacture there. In 1649 it was reported: — "In 
Blackburn there is every Monday a Markett, and some fairs." Blome 
says in 1673 that Blackburn had on the Monday a great weekly market 
for cattle, com, and provisions. Its cattle market and fortnightly and 
annual cattle fairs were of early importance. Some entries in the 
Shuillavorih Accounts from 1583 to 1590 betoken the attendance of the 
farm-bailiffs of the district gentry at the Blackburn cattle fair for the 
purchase or sale of stock, ex. gr. : — 

1583. Bought in Blackbume the firste Daye of Maye of Robert wyffe Whalleye 
one cowe 26s. \oi. — 1584. Payed for haye in Blackboume for fiffe beastes which was 
there all nighte and for dryvinge the same to Tingreave I2d.^ — 1586. May. Towe 
oxen in Blackbume unto Thos. Whalleye £(> lis. 8d. — 1587. Boughte in Blackbume 
of Mr. Vicar towe oxen £^ 6s. 8d. Wyllyam Jenkenson two styres ;^5 los. ; Thomas 
Baley one oxe tynter 48s. 2d. &c. — 1590. Boughte in Blackbume one oxe 52s. 
6d. ; towe oxen £,^. 

The annual fair, for cattle and produce, in Blackburn was held in 
1583 on the I St of May. In "Rider's Fairs, 1746," Blackburn Fair is 
still fixed for May Day. Not many years after two additional fairs were 
appointed in the year, on Easter Monday and at Michaelmas (Oct. 


17th). Monday's market was given up in 1774 in favour of bi-weekly- 
markets on Wednesday and Saturday, and this is the present arrange- 
ment. Blakey Moor, a patch of common land in the rear of Northgate 
and Astley Gate, has for several hundred years been the place of the 
cattle fairs and markets of Blackburn. 

In the Shuitleiuorih Accounts it is mentioned that a house of correc- 
tion was built in Blackburn in 161 1; this, perhaps, was the origin of the 
small dingy structure, long used as a town " lock-up " or house of correc 
tion, that stood on the south end of the Darwen-street bridge over the 
Blakewater, and that was demolished on the removal of the old stone 
bridge in 1872, when the roadway was widened and the present iron 
bridge erected. In 162 1, the same Accounts record payments for 
building of a bridge " on the south side of Blackburne," and of " another 
bridge hard by Blackburne." 

So late as 1760, the compact portion of the town, as shown upon a 
plan of that date, covered an area of not more than ten acres ; in 
contrast with which the town of 1875 is estimated to cover the better 
part of 1,500 acres in the townships of Blackburn, Witton, and Livesey. 
Very few are the vestiges of Old Blackburn remaining after the street- 
improvements and reconstructions of the last thirty years. Several 
antique houses stood on the west side of Northgate, at the bottom of 
Church-street, and in Darwen-street, until recently ; but the last of them 
has now disappeared. 


The primitive lords of Blackburn, bearing the name of the vill, must 
be referred to hereafter in the account of Blackburn Church as furnishing 
the first known incumbents of Blackburn in an hereditary succession, 
both the rectorial and manorial rights pertaining to the De Blackbums 
for some generations. The descent of the race is partially recorded, 
with differences, in ancient documents. According to an accepted 
statement, the genealogy is traced from Gamaliel de Blackburn, about 
the time of the Conquest, to Gilbert, from Gilbert to John, and from 
John to Henry de Blackburn, living about 1160. Henry had sons 
Richard and Adam. Richard de Blackburn, eldest son of Henry, had 
a son and heir Adam ; and Adam de Blackburn had two daughters, co- 
heiresses, who married brothers : Agnes marrying David de Hulton, and 
had issue Richard de Hulton ; and Beatrice marrying William de Hulton, 
but having no issue. Thus the manor of Blackburn passed to the De 
Hultons, and the chief line of the De Blackbums finished in the male 

Adam de Blackburn, younger son of Adam and brother of Richard, 



had a son Roger. About the same date, appear other members whose 
connection is not easily defined. 


Several branches of the De Blackburn stock should be remembered. One branch 
settled in the next township of Rishton as chief territorial proprietors, and thenceforth 
bore the style of De Rishton. The first of these was Gilbert de Rishton, son of 
Henry de Blackburn. Under the name of De Rishton the descent of this branch 
will be pursued in a later page of this work. 

Another branch, owning lands in Walton-in-le-Dale and Cuerden, is traceable in 
charters abstracted in one of the Harleian MSS. (No. 21 12). Richard, son of Adam 
de Blackburn, and Alice his wife, are named in a dateless charter concerning an estate 
in Cuerden. Richard de Blackburn granted to Henry de Walton a rent of 40s. of lands 
in Wiswall. 

Alice de Blackburn, widow, late wife of William son of Adam de Blackburn, 
gave to Hugh son of Henry de WhithuU portion of her land in Whithull (Whittle). 
William de Blackburn gave to William his son and heir all his lands in the vill of 
Kerden (Cuerden). 

Then, in the 9th Edward II. (1316), William son of William de Blackburn of 
Kuerden conveyed to John, son of Richard son of Ralph de Magna Hole (Much 
Hoole) all his lands in Kuerden. 

In the 13th Edward II. (1320), Henry de Blackburn of Walton gave to Richard 
de Billington and William his son, all his land which he had of the grant of Robert 
Banester, lord of Walton. 

The l6th Edward II. (1323), John son of Henry de Blackburn released the same 
lands to Richard de Billington ; and in the 5th Edward HI. (1332), John son of Henry 
de Blackburn of Walton demised to Richard de Billington his right in 6s. per annum 
he had of his father's gift. 

Richard, son of John de Blackburn, of Walton, in the 22nd Edward III. (1349), 
gave to William son of John de Walton and his heirs, two messuages, &c., with 12 
acres of land in Walton, which Roger, son of Adam de Blackburn, and Adam son of 
Roger Dobson, formerly held. 

The Robert son of Richard de Blackburn to whom, before the 40th Edward HI. 
(1367), John de Alvetham had feoffeed the fourth part of the Bailiwick of Blackburn- 
shire, possibly was a member of this branch of the Blackburn family. 

There was a family of this name seated at Wiswall in Whalley Parish, contemporary 
with, and doubtless derived from, the De Blackbums lords of Blackburn. In the 
Testa de Nevill, Adam de Blackburn appears early in the thirteenth century as 
holding with Roger de Archis the fourth part of a Knight's fee in Wisewall and Apton. 
A record is entered in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey (to which Mr. Hulton, 
the editor, adds a note) respecting the descent of the Blackbums of Wiswall, to the 
effect that Sir John de Blackburn, Knt. (perhaps a son of the above Adam), lord of the 
vill of Wysewall, had a son and heir Sir Adam Blackburn, Knt. ; he, by Alice his 
wife, had a son and heir John de Blackburn, who married Margaret, sister of Sir 
Robert de Holand, and had three daughters, Alice, Agnes, and Johanna, between 
whom after the death of John their father the manor of Wysewall and his other lands, 
&c. , were divided. Alice, the elder daughter, married Sir Robert de Sherburne, Knt ; 
the second did not marry ; and Johanna, the youngest, was wife of Thomas de Ardem. 
In 131 1, Sir Robert Sherburne and Thomas de Ardem were in joint tenure of Wiswall 


manor by virtue of their wives' inheritance therein; but the father, John de Blackburn, 
last male scion of the Blackbums of Wiswall, occurs in title-deeds of Whalley after 
this date, and as late as the year 1336. 


The half of that moiety of Blackburn manor inherited by Agnes 
de Blackburn, was conveyed to the De Hultons by her marriage 
to David de Hulton, son and heir of Richard de Hulton, lord of Hulton. 
David de Hulton by his wife Agnes had sons Richard, Adam, and John, 
and a daughter Cecilia. William de Hulton, lord of Flixton, younger 
brother of David, who married Beatrice de Blackburn, had with her the 
other share of the estate ; but on his death without issue, his brother 
David became his heir. David surrendered the estate to his brother's 
widow, Beatrice, as her dower for life ; and after her death, Richard 
de Hulton, eldest son of David, obtained the estate as heir of Beatrice 
his aunt. This Richard de Hulton, of Hulton, living in 1304, h'ad by his 
wife Margery, daughter of Robert de Radeclive, sons Richard, Adam, 
John, and Roger. Richard the father gave the moiety of Blackburn 
manor to John, his third son, for life. This John de Hulton, in 131 1, 
was returned as holding a carucate and a half of land in Blackburn 
freely by homage; he was still living in 1326. His elder brother, 
Richard, died before John, but left a son and heir, Richard, who, after 
the death of John de Hulton his uncle, sold the moiety of Blackburn 
manor to Robert de Radcliff. 

This Robert de RadclifF was second son of Richard de Radcliff, of 
■Radcliff Tower ; and it was in the 8th Edward IH. (1335) that Richard 
de Hulton quit-claimed to him all his lands in Blackburn. Robert de 
Radcliff was founder of the important line of Radcliffes of Smithells, 
for nearly two centuries lords of Smithells and Blackburn. He had a son 
and heir William Radcliff of Smithells, Esq., whose son and name, 
sake, William Radcliffe of Smithells, had a son and heir Ralph, knighted 
in the latter part of the fourteenth century. 

Sir Ralph Radcliffe of Smithells, Knt., had a son Ralph, and died 
before 1406 ; for on the i8th June in that year (7th Henry IV.), is dated 
the precept issued to the Duchy Escheator to give to Ralph, son and 
heir of Sir Ralph de Radclif, chevaler, deceased, livery of the moiety of 
the manor of Blackburn* holden of the King in capite by knight service 
and 4s. payable yearly for the ward of the Castle of Clithero and doing 
suit at the Wapentake of Clithero, and of the moiety of the manor of 
Flixton, and certain tenements in Harwood, &c., taking security of the 
said heir for payment of his relief for the two moieties of the manors of 
Blackburn and Flixton. Ralph the son received knighthood as well as 
the father. 




The' second Sir Ralph Radcliffe of Smithells, Knt., entering in 
1406, an doccurring again in 1409, had by Cicely his wife a son and 
heir Ralph, the third Sir Ralph Radcliffe, Knt. ; and the latter had sons 
Ralph, the heir, and Edward ; and a daughter Joan, who married, after 
1450, Ralph Barton of Holme, Esq., and was mother of John Barton, 
afterwards of Smithells. In the 20th Henry VH. (1505), John Barton 
gave letters of attorney to Robert Rishton to receive possession of the 
Manor of Blackburn from Joan Barton, widow. 

Ralph Radcliffe of Smithells, Esq., son of Sir Ralph, married 
Katherine, daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux, Knt., and had issue a 
daughter and sole heiress, named Cicely, who became the wife of the 
above-named John Barton, son of Ralph Barton of Holme. By these 
two alliances of Ralph Burton and his son John with successive 
heiresses of the Radcliffes, both Blackburn manor and Smithells passed 
from the lineal house of Radcliffe to the Bartons, and were held by John 
Barton of Smithells, Esq. 


John Barton of Smithells, Esq. (son of Ralph), who married Cicely 
Radcliffe, heiress of the manor, had issue by her, sons, Andrew ; Alex- 
ander, a clerk ; Leonard, and Francis (the two latter died without issue). 
John Barton died before the year 1516, and on the inquisition taken 
8th Henry VHI., was found to have been seized of the manors of 
Smithells and Tingreve, with landed estates there and in many town- 
ships in South and West Lancashire, and also of messuages, lands, &c., 
in Blackburn. Andrew Barton, son and heir, was then aged i8 years. 

Andrew Barton, of Smithells, Esq., lord of Blackburn, had to wife 
Ann, daughter of Sir William Stanley of Hooton, Co. Chester, Knt. 
Issue, sons, Robert; Rauf; Henry, and Thurstan; daughters, Cicely, 
wife of Robert Holt of Stubley, gent. ; Margaret, wife of John Westby 
of Mowbreck, gent. ; Dorothy, wife of William Gerrard, Recorder of 
Chester ; and Eleanor, wife of Edward Singleton, of the Tower. Andrew 
Barton, Esq., died in 1548; by his Will, dated Feb. 7th, 3rd Edw. VI., 
he directs " that my sone Robert Barton, or he that shall hapen to be 
my heyre, shall have the one halfe of the lordshipe of Oswentwysyll 
[Oswaldtwistle] wyche I lately purchased of the right honorabyll Henry 
[Radclyffe, second earl of Sussex] bounden to my brother-in-law, 
William Westby, esquier, in severall obligacyons to pay unto hym yet 
beyng behynde fourscore marks for the maryage of Margaret my doughter 
to John Westby, his sone and heyre apparent." Also testator wills that 
Thurstan Tyldesley, Esq., and others, " shall take twentie pounds yerly 
of my lands in Blakbume and Roumsgreve to pay my detts whiche I 


stond bounde to my frends by bylles," &c. The escheator's return 
shows that Andrew Barton held the manor of Smithells, two messuages 
in Smithells, of the King, as of the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem, in 
socage, by a rent of i2d., worth ^^14; the manor of Tingreve, in the 
parish of Eccleston, in Leylandshire, and two messuages with appur- 
tenances in Eccleston, of the King as lord, in socage, by a rent of 4s. 
7d., worth 52s. 4d. ; the manor of Hole, with one watermill and 5s. iid. 
issuing in rent, and lands in Hole, of Thomas Stanley, Knt., Lord 
Monteagle, in socage, by a rent of 6d., worth £16. Also 12 messuages 
in Queralton, of the King, as late of St. John of Jerusalem, in socage, 
by a rent of 2s. 2d., worth ;£6. . Four messuages with appurtenances 
in Lostock, of Thomas West, Lord de la Warre, in socage, by a rent of 
7d., worth jQ^ 55. 4d. Half the manor of Blackburn, 30 messuages 
there, with 3s. 4d. yearly rent issuing out of land there, of the King, in 
socage, by a rent of 4s., worth ;^is. 2s. lod. Twelve messuages in 
Romesgreve [Ramsgreave], of the King in chief, by one-twentieth of a 
knight's fee, and 19s. 2^d., worth ^8 2s. gd. ; and other estates. 

Robert Barton, Esq., succeeded, being 24 years of age. He 
married Margery, second daughter of Sir Piers Legh, Knt., of Lyme, 
Cheshire, who, after his death, married Richard Shuttleworth, of Gaw- 
thorpe, Esq. By this lady Robert Barton had no male issue, and 
,at his death, in 1580, the landed possessions of the house passed to his 
brother, Ralph Barton. An inquisition after his death, taken 22nd 
Eliz., records that Robert Barton, Esq., held the manor of Smithells, three 
messuages and one mill there, of the King ; the manor, with the capital 
messuage of Tingreve, with two messuages there, of the King ; half the 
manor of Hole, 26 messuages and one mill there, of Richard Sherbum, 
Knt., in socage ; half the manor of Blackburn, 50 messuages, and a rent 
of 4s. 6d. there ; lands in Ramsgreve, of the King ; half the manor of 
Flixton and Horwich ; and the manor of Oswaldtwisel, 1 2 messuages 
and a rent of los. id. there, of the King, by half a knight's fee and a 
rent of 2s. 3d., worth ^18 ; with other lands in Lostock and Bradshaw. 
Ralph Barton, brother and next heir, was aged 57 years. 

Ralph Barton, Esq., of Grey's Inn, afterwards of Smithells, the next 
successor in 1580, died in 1592. Escheat taken 42nd Eliz. (1599). 
His estates in Blackburn district embraced, according to this return, the 
manor of Oswaldtwistle, with 37 messuages, 37 gardens, one water mill, 
1000 acres of land, 100 acres of meadow, and 200 acres of pasture; 
12 messuages, 80 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 80 acres of pasture, 
50 acres of woodland, and 140 acres of moor and moss in Ramsgreave ; 
and half the manor of Blackburn, with 50 messuages, 120 acres of 
land, 40 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 100 acres of moor and 


turbary, and 4s. 46.. rent in Blackburn. Ralph Barton, his son and heir, 
was aged 43 years and upwards. 

Ralph Barton, Esq., lord of Blackburn and Smithells, married 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Wood, of Turton, and had a son Thomas. 
Ralph Barton was Sheriff of the County in 1605. He died before 1613, 
seized of Oswaldtwistle and Blackburn manors, with lands pertaining ; 
of lands in Ramsgreave and Witton in this parish, and of the other 
estates named before as possessed by the family. 

Sir Thomas Barton, of Smithells, Knt., son of Ralph, and the last 
male representative of this race of Bartons, is found in possession of 
Blackburn manor in 16 13. He was a governor of Blackburn Free 
Grammar School. He was knighted before 162 1. This knight died 
July 17th, 1659, and was buried the 19th August following, at Bolton. 
His only daughter and heiress, Grace Barton, was married to Henry 
Belasyse, Esq., M.P., eldest son of Thomas, first Viscount Fauconberg, 
and conveyed Blackburn manorial estate, with the rest of the estates of 
the Bartons, to that ennobled Yorkshire house. 


Henry Belasyse, Esq., who by his marriage with Grace Barton 
acquired for his family the manors of Blackburn, Smithells, Oswald- 
twistle, &c., in this county, was son and heir of Thomas Belasyse, first 
Viscount Fauconberg, of Newborough Abbey, Co. York. He served in 
the Long Parliament as Knight of the Shire for the County of York. 
By the Barton heiress he had sons, Thomas ; Henry, died unmarried ; 
Rowland (see hereafter) ; daughters, Grace, married George, Viscount 
Castleton ; Frances, married Sir Henry Jones, of Aston, Knt. ; Arabella, 
married Sir William Frankland, Bart. ; and Barbara, married first, Walter 
Strickland, Esq., of Sizergh, and, secondly. Sir Marmaduke Dalton. 
Dying in his father's lifetime, Henry Belasyse, Esq., left his Lancashire 
estates to his sons Thomas and Rowland, the first of whom succeeded 
his grandfather in the title and patrimonial estates. 

Thomas Belasyse, second Viscount Fauconberg, on his grandsire's 
decease in 1652, married, first, Mildred, daughter of Nicholas, Viscount 
Castleton, who died young, and left no issue. He married, secondly, 
Nov. 1 8th, 1657, at Hampton Court, Mary, third daughter of Oliver 
Cromwell, Lord Protector. The marriage was celebrated, says Clarendon, 
"with all imaginable pomp and lustre." Burnet says of this daughter of 
Cromwell : — " She was a wise and worthy woman, more likely to have 
maintained the post [of Protector] than either of her brothers ; according 
to a saying that went of her, that ' those who wore breeches deserved 
petticoats better ; but if those in petticoats had been in breeches, they 


would have held faster.'" Andrew Marvel composed " Two Songs at the 
Marriage of the Lord Fauconberg and the Lady Mary Cromwell."' By 
this lady, however, Lord Fauconberg had no issue. April 9th, 1689, 
on the accession of William IIL and Mary, he was created Earl Faucon- 
berg by letters patent. He died December 31st, 1 700, and in default 
of issue the earldom expired, and the other honours and the estates 
reverted to a nephew, Thomas Belasyse, Esq., son of Sir Rowland 
Belasyse, K.B. 

Margaret, eldest sister of Thomas Earl Fauconberg, married Sir 
Edward Osbom, of Kiveton, who after her death married, secondly, 
Ann, daughter of Thomas Walmesley, of Dunkenhalgh, Esq. 

Sir Rowland Belasyse, K.B., younger brother of the Earl, was lord 
of the manors of Blackburn and Smithells, and is described as " of 
Smithells" in 1688. By his wife Anne, daughter and heiress of J. 
Davenport, Esq., of Sutton, Co. Chester, he had sons, Thomas, who 
succeeded his uncle as third Viscount ; Henry ; John, and Rowland ; 
and daughters, Grace, Frances, Arabella, and Barbara. Sir Rowland 
died in 1699. 

Thomas Belasyse, third Viscount, son of Sir Rowland, and nephew 
of Earl Thomas, succeeded to the title and estates of his uncle in 1 700. 
His wife was Bridget, daughter of Sir John Page, Bart., by whom he had 
spns, Thomas and Rowland, and three daughters. This representative 
died Nov. 20th, 17 18. 

Thomas Belasyse, his son, succeeded as fourth Viscount. By him, 
soon after his accession, the Lancashire estates held by the family were 
disposed of. The Manor of Blackburn was sold by him, in 1721, for 
;^8,65o, to William Baldwin, Henry Feilden, and William Sudell, Esqrs.* 
In 1722 Lord Fauconberg sold Oswaldtwistle Manor to James Whalley, 
of Sparth, and Christopher Baron, of Oswaldtwistle, gents. ; and about 
the same date Smithells Manor was sold to the Byroms of Manchester. 
Thomas, fourth Viscount Fauconberg, died 4th Feb., 1774, and was 
succeeded in the title and Yorkshire estates by his only son Henry (by 
his wife Catherine, daughter of John Betham, Esq.) Henry Belasyse, 
fifth Viscount, was created an Earl, and married twice, but had no male 
issue, and on his death, in 1802, the Earldom lapsed. Rowland, son of 
Anthony, son of Rowland, fourth son of Sir Rowland Belasyse, succeeded 
as sixth Viscount, and dying without issue in 1810, was succeeded by 
his brother. Rev. Charles Belasyse, D.D., of the Roman Catholic 
Church, as seventh Viscount, at whose death, in 181 5, the barony and 
Viscounty of Fauconberg became extinct. 

1 Printed in Grosart's Complete Works of Marvell, v. i. (Verse), pp. 139-145. 
3 The Baldwins, Feildens, and Sudells will be noticed hereafter. 



BLACKBURN, A.D. i6i8. 

In the year 1616, upon a Petition of Sir William Fleetwood, Knt, 
lessee of the Rectory Glebe, Thomas Barton, Esq., lord of the temporal 
half of the manor, John Morres, Vicar, as holder of the Vicarial Glebe, 
all the charterers and copyholders of the township, and the under- 
tenants of the Glebe lands, praying for the enclosure and allotment of 
waste and common lands, an inquisition was taken regarding the owner- 
ship of the lands in Blackburn ; which was followed by an application 
to the Court of the Duchy for a Commission to survey and adjust the 
allotment of the said common and waste lands. The Commission was 
granted by the Crown, and the Commissioners held an inquiry at Black- 
bum on the 24th of April, 161 7. It then appeared that 680 acres of 
land customary measure, equal to 1,266 acres or so, statute measure, 
out of some 3,600 statute acres in the township, were still common 
and waste. The Commissioners, having by their inquisition ascertained 
the particulars of ownership, and the situation and extent of the commons 
and wastes, and reported thereon, the Chancellor of the Duchy published 
his Decree, dated the 20th June, 1618, by which the whole of the waste 
lands were ordered to be enclosed, and to be allotted /ro rata among all 
owners of land in Blackburn. An abstract of the decree is presented 
below : — 

Decree Made 20th June, 1618, ascertaining the rights of the Lords 
OF the Manor of Blackburn, in the Commons or Wastes there, 
AND the Vicar and several Freeholders and Copyholders in the 


[Abstract.] — This cause was "between the King and John Dewhurst and 
Thurstan Mawdesley, Customary Tenants of the Crown within the Manor of Black- 
bum, in the County of Lancaster, of the one part ; and George [Abbot], Lord Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and Thomas Barton, Esq. , Lords of the Manor of Blackburn 
aforesaid, and Edward Fleetwood, Knight, I'armer of the Rectory of Blackburn, 
within the Duchy, and Thos. Holden, and other Freeholders within the same, of the 
other part. " The preamble recites that, "by an Inquisition taken at Blackburn, 
&c., upon the 20th day of September, 1 616, before Humfrey Davenport and John 
Hart, Esqrs. " — upon the oaths "of John Rhodes, of Thomley, in the said county; 
Henry Hammond, John Ward, Nicholas Crombleholme, John Rodes, of Thomley, 
in the said county ; John Moore, Thomas Ryley, James Aspinall, John Middleton, 
Richard Parker, Robert Parker, Edward Houghton, Henry Hurst, and John Cottom, 
gentlemen, " — it was found ' ' that the now Archbishop of Canterbury is seised in his 
demesne as of fee, of and in the Rectory and Parsonage of Blackburn, &c., and of and 
in the moiety of the Manor of Blackburn aforesaid, belonging to the said Parsonage. 
And that Thomas Barton, Esq. , is seized in his demesne as of fee, of and in the other 
moiety of the said Manor. And that there are certain wastes lying near unto Black- 
bum town, containing in all about 680 acres, after seven yards and a half to the perch, 
whereof all (save 90 acres or thereabouts) do lye within the township of Blackburn. 



And the said 90 acres were, at the time of the said Inquisition, in controversy between 
the said Archbishop and the said Thomas Barton, on the one part, and the Lords, 
charterers and others of the town of Nether Darwen, on the other part, whether the 
said 90 acres did lye within the township of Blackburn, or within the township 6f 
Nether Darwen. " It appeared by the same inquisition that the Archbishop, in right 
of his Archbishopric, was seized in his demesne as of fee of the moiety of the soil of 
the said Wastes within the township of Blackburn ; that Thomas Barton was seized 
in his demesne as of fee of the other moiety of the soil of the said Wastes. It further 
appeared that since the inquisition the parties interested had agreed to a partition of 
the ninety acres of waste in question between the townships of Blackburn and Nether 
Darwen, which gave 35 ac. 3 r. of the said 90 acres to Blackburn, and the residue to 
Nether Darwen. Of the 35 a. 3 r. declared to be in Blackburn, the Archbishop and 
Thomas Barton were severally seized, each of a moiety. And it appeared that all the 
Wastes of the soil, whereof the Archbishop and Thomas Barton were respectively 
seized in the township, were "three several Wastes, Moors, or Commons, the one 
called Colepit Moor, alias Whinney Edge, the other called Revidge Moor, and the 
third, which is a small moor, containing about three acres, called Blakey Moor. " It 
further appeared that John Morris, Clerk, Vicar of Blackburn, in respect and right of 
the said Vicarage ; and Thomas Holden, William Barcroft, Thomas Kenyon, Richard 
Lawe, Miles Aspinall, and James Aspinall, in respect of divers lands and tenements 
lying in the township of Blackburn, of which they had several estates of inheritance, 
had and ought to have common in the said Wastes and Moors, and that Thurstan 
Maudsley and John Dewhurst, copyholders of divers lands and tenements in the said 
township belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster, had and ought likewise to have common 
in the said Wastes and Moors, and the under-tenants of the Glebe, and the farmers of 
Thomas Barton's lands, had in the right of their landlords common in the said wastes ; 
and further that Sir William Fleetwood, Thomas Barton, John Morris, Thomas 
Kenyon, Richard I,awe, James Aspinall, and Miles Aspinall, and the under-tenants of 
the glebe, had divers times petitioned the Archbishop to consent to the "enclosing of 
the said moors, wastes, and commons, as being a thing tending to the good of the 
common wealth of the Kingdom, and to the private good of the said petitioners," who 
desired upon the said enclosure to have their proportionate part of the said wastes, 
&c., according to their several and respective inlands. And the Archbishop, after 
inquiry, having found it to be true "that the said wastes or moors had, by reason of 
non-culture, yielded very little profit" unto those who commoned in them, and if 
enclosed would yield a far larger revenue and profit, did condescend to their petition, 
and applied to the King's Highness to award a Commission out of the Court of the 
Duchy, for the allotting, unto those who had right of common there, of convenient 
portions of the said Moors and Wastes. The Commission was granted accordingly, 
with orders to view and survey the said wastes, and to take evidence of the tenants, 
and with full power and authority to apportion and allot to the interested parties 
competent and convenient portions of such common lands, &c. The Commission had 
held an inquiry at Blackburn on the 24th of April, 161 7, and had found that the only copy- 
holders of the King in the said township were Thurstan Maudsley and John Dewhurst; 
as to Maudsley's title, they found " by a copy of Court Roll, that there was a presentment 
made the 23rd April, 35th Queen Elizabeth (1593), at a Court holden for the said Queen, 
at the Castle of Clitheroe," that "one Edward Maudsley died a little before the Court 
so holden, being, at the time of his death, seized in fee, according to the custom, of and 
in one messuage and other buildings, and of and in 14 acres of land, called Ousbooth," 
in Blackburn, and that his brother and heir, Henry Maudsley, prayed to be admitted 



and was admitted tenant of the said lands ; and that the said Thurstan Maudsley claimed 
to hold the said copyhold lands, &c., as son and heir of the said Henry ;" as to 
Dewhurst's title, a copy of Court Roll showed that at a Court holden at Clitheroe, 
May 25th, 26th Eliz. (1584), came William Dewhurst, and John Dewhurst his son and 
heir, and surrendered into the Queen's hands one messuage and certain buildings, and 
34 acres, I rood and one eighth of a rood of land, in Blackburn, called Beardsworth 
Green, to the use of one Robert Barcroft and their heirs, &c. ; and that the said John 
Dewhurst claimed to hold the said copyhold lands and tenements. The Commis- 
sioners had accordingly allotted to the said Thurstan Maudsley 7 acres of Waste and 
Common land, after the measure used in the township ; and to the said John Dewhurst, 
1 7 acres and the half and sixteenth of a rood of Waste and Common ; by which the 
said Thurstan Maudsley and John Dewhurst were very well satisfied and contented." 
Upon which Commission, certificate and return, the Chancellor and Counsel of the 
Duchy ordered, on the 16th July, 161 7, " that all the tenants of Blackburn, and those 
who we/e any ways interested in the said Commons and Wastes, should shew cause in 
the Duchy Court, in Michaelmas Term the next following, why a decree should not 
be entered by consent, for the establishing and confirming of the enclosing of the said 
Wastes." By affidavit made in that Court, it appeared that "the said John Dewhurst 
had his proportionable part of the said Waste, lying fitly, &c., set out and measured, 
in and upon Revidge Moor, being one of the said Wastes ;" and ' ' the said Thurstan 
Maudsley had his proportionable part of the said Wastes, lying fitly, &c., set out and 
measured in and upon the said Moor called Revidge Moor ;" in full satisfaction of 
such Common as they claimed. And it appeared, by affidavit and by the acknow- 
ledgment of John Morris, Vicar of Blackburn, that unto the said Vicarage there 
belonged "not above 50 acres of glebe at the most, lying and being within the said 
township of Blackburn ;" that in right of the Vicarage he the said Vicar was to have 
Common in the said Wastes ; and that " there was apportioned and set forth by certain 
measures and bounds, for the use of him the said Vicar of Blackburn and his successors 
for ever, in full satisfaction of his said Common in the said Wastes, divers parcels of 
Land, lying in several places in the said Moors, called Revidge Moor, and Cole Pit 
Moor, or otherwise called Whinney Edge Moor aforesaid, 23 acres, I rood, 13 falls of 
Land, after the measure used in the said Township of Blackburn, with which said 
portion and share of the said Wastes, he the said John Morris was well satisfied and 
contented. " The Freeholders in the township were, first, Thomas Holden, who had 
"about 26 acres of Inland being his inheritance in fee," of which said Inland of the 
Holdens, John Bolton had an estate for life or lives ; and in satisfaction of his common 
there was allotted, set forth, and measured unto the said Thomas Holden, &c., divers 
parcels of Land of the said Commons, situate on Revidge Moor, containing 1 1 acres 
2 roods or thereabouts, after the measure used in the said township, with which portion 
of the said Wastes, "the greatest part whereof being of the best sort of ground in the 
said Moor, he the said Thomas Holden was and is well satisfied and contented. " It 
also appeared that William Barcroft had about 24 acres of Inland, his inheritance in 
fee, in the township, which gave him right of Common in the said Wastes ; and in 
lieu of that right " there was allotted, apportioned, measured, and set forth unto him 
the said William Barcroft, a certain parcel of land in the said Wastes upon Cole Pit 
Moor, alias Whinney Edge Moor," containing 11 acres or thereabouts, after the 
measure used in the said township, wherewith he William Barcroft was well satisfied 
and contented. Also, Thomas Kenyon, Richard Lawe, and Miles and James Aspinall, 
had divers parcels of Inland, containing about 45 acres, being their inheritance in fee, 
for which they had Common in the said Wastes, and in lieu of which these four Free- 


holders received divers parcels of land on the Waste and Moor called Revidge, 
containing 18 acres 2 roods or thereabouts, to be shared amongst them, according to 
their several quantities of Inland, with which share they were all well satisfied, pleased, 
and contented. After the disposal of these lesser claims, the bulk of the Waste 
Lands enclosed remained to be divided between the lords of the two moieties of the 
Manor, Thomas Barton and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Court found that 
Thomas Barton had in Fee simple the Moiety of the Manor of Blackburn as aforesaid, 
and divers parcels of Inlands, as parcel of the said moiety, amounting to 600 acres or 
thereabouts, after the measure in the said township, in regard whereof he was lord of 
one moiety of the said Waste Lands, and the Court in lieu of his and his tenants' 
Common in the said Wastes, allotted, apportioned, measured, and set out unto the 
said Thomas Barton, and his heirs, divers parcels of land on the Wastes and Moors 
called Revidge Moor, and Cole Pit Moor, alias Whinney Edge Moor, containing 255 
acres o}4 rood 9 falls, or thereabouts, according to the measure used in the township, 
and with this allotment the said Thomas Barton was very well satisfied, contented, 
and pleased. Lastly, it appeared that the Archbishop of Canterbury had, in right of 
the said Archbishopric, the other Moiety of the Manor of Blackburn and divers parcels 
of Inlands, being the Glebe of the said Parsonage of Blackburn, amounting to 500 
acres or thereabouts, according to the measure used in the said township, in regard 
whereof the Archbishop was lord of the moiety of the soil of the said Wastes, and his 
Fanner of the Parsonage and Tenants of the Glebe had Common in the said Wastes ; 
wherefore the Court in lieu of such common, allotted, measured, and set forth to the 
said Archbishop and his successors, for ever, divers parcels of Land of the said Wastes 
and Moors, lying on Revidge Moor, and Cole Pit Moor, or Whinney Edge Moor, 
containing 231 acres, 3 roods, 16 falls or thereabouts, after the measure used in the 
township, which is very near double so much after the statute acre ; and with this 
share or portion the Archbishop and his Farmer of the Parsonage were well satisfied 
and contented. But the Lords of the Manor, the Archbishop and Thomas Barton, 
were to set out in Whinney Edge Moor two acres of land, and in Revidge Moor one 
acre of land, of the customary measure of the township, "for the getting of stones" 
for their farmers and tenants. The Court further ordered that the said Archbishop 
and the said Thomas Barton should "set out of the said Moor or Waste, called 
Cole Pit Moor or Whinney Edge Moor, a quantity of land, lying next unto Blackburn 
Town's End, containing upon admeasurement thereof made, ten acres, according to 
the said measure, used and employed for ever for the service of his Majesty, his Heirs 
and Successors, for the mustering and training of people in that part, and for the 
recreation of the Inhabitants of the said.Town, and for the good and profit of the said 
Town and Poor thereof, as a gift given for ever, for the uses aforesaid, by them, the 
said Archbishop and the said Thomas Barton, of the parts and portions of the said 
Wastes and Moors now intended to be inclosed. " It was also made known unto the 
Court that the Archbishop had caused his Lessee of the Rectory Lands, Sir William 
Fleetwood, to promise to the under-tenants, that they should have amongst them, to 
be divided as they should agree amongst themselves, 160 and odd acres, parcel of the 
property of the Archbishopric, after the measure of the township, for the residue of the 
tei-m of years that the said Sir William then had the Parsonage, which was about 
twenty years, for the yearly rent of I2d. the acre, and for every small fine or income, 
about 28s. the acre, one with another, to be paid to the said Sir William Fleetwood ; 
and that the Archbishop " had caused the said Sir William Fleetwood, during his 
term, to give and pay yearly unto the said Vicar, Churchwardens, and Sidesmen of 
the said Parish of Blackburn, for the term," &c., "£s of lawful money of England, to 


be paid yearly, at two Feasts in the year " (Michaelmas and Annunciation Day) ; the 
same to be distributed yearly at Michaelmas, by the Vicar and Churchwardens, to the 
Poor Tenants of the Glebe of the Parsonage ; and the Archbishop had further ordered 
that all future Fanners or Possessors of the said Parsonage for the time being should 
for ever pay a like sum of £5 to the Vicar and Wardens for the like charitable distri- 
bution. It was therefore upon the above premises finally ordered, adjudged, and 
decreed on the 29th of June, in the l6th of James the First's reign (1618), bySir 
Humphrey Muir, Knt., Chancellor of the said Duchy of Lancaster, &c., with the King's 
' consent, and with the consent of all the parties, that the said Moors or Wastes, called 
Revidge Moor and Cole Pit or Whinney Edge Moor (except the plots of ten acres and 
of three acres before mentioned as to be excepted), should and might be with all 
convenient speed taken in and enclosed, and for ever hereafter should be ; and that the 
several and respective allotments above specified should be taken, held, and occupied 
by all the parties before named, for ever ; and the Court also decreed that the afore- 
said 10 acres adjoining to Blackburn Town End " should for ever lye, be, and continue 
open, and not enclosed, and that the same shall be employed and used for ever, " &c. , 
"for the mustering and training of Soldiers in these parts, when occasion shall require, 
and to and for the recreation of the People of the said Town ; and the profits, 
pasture, or herbage of the said ten acres should from henceforth for ever be received, 
used, taken, and enjoyed, to and for the good and profit of the said Town, and of the 
Poor thereof. " The Decree is given under the seal of the Duchy, nth July, i6th 
James I. (i6i8). 


Subjoined are some particulars respecting certain families of the 
standing of lesser gentry, yeomen or freeholders, formerly seated in the 
township and town of Blackburn. 

John Abbot of Blackburn became a Governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 


George Abbot married, Feb. 4th, 1615, Margerie Duckworth. George Abbot of 
Whytebirk occurs in 1622, when his wife was buried ; and was a warden of Blackburn 
Church in 1636. 

John Abbot of Whytebirk, named in 1636, was elected a Governor of the 
Grammar School in 1646. 

James Abbot, of Higher Whitebirk, died in December, 1659. 

Thomas Abbot of Blackburn, yeoman, by his wife Ann, had a son John, bom in 
1701, and other issue. 

John Abbot of Whitebirk was buried Nov. i8th, 1721. 

George Abbot of Blackburn married, Dec. 4th, 1 710, Elizabeth Gardner of Preston. 

George Abbot of Blackburn, attomey-at-law, Governor of Blackburn Grammar 
School, was buried Oct. 24th, 1775. 

George Abbot of Blackburn, gentleman, married Mary Shorrock, May 21st, 1758, 
and had a son John, bora in December, 1761. George Abbot, gentleman, was buried 
June 24th, 1790, aged 53. 

Thomas Haspynhalgh, of Blackburn, is assessed to the Subsidy of 1523. William 
■ Asmall, of Blackburn, is taxed to a Subsidy in 1570. 


Myles Aspinall of Blackburn, a Governor of the Grammar School, died in 1595. 
"George Asmolle," probably son of Myles, was elected a Governor of the School the 
same year. In the appropriation and enclosure of waste lands and commons of Black- 
bum township in 1618, Miles Aspinall and James Aspinall were awarded plots of 
waste for their parcels of freehold land. 

William Aspinall, of Royshaw, was buried at Blackburn, August loth, 1622. 
JIary Aspinall, of Royshaw, was buried August 21st, the same year. Robert Aspinall, 
townsman, was buried Oct. 19th, 1624. 

Thomas Aspinall, of Royshaw, died in March, 1630-1. His widow was buried at 
Blackburn, Nov. 22nd, 1632. • 

Myles Aspinall, of Blackburn, married Jenet Bayley, and had sons Richard, bom 
in 1619 ; Peter, bom 1625 ; and John, bom in 1627, married Sept., 1655, Isabel 
Whitaker; also a daughter, Christabel. "Uxor Myles Aspinall" was buried in 
August, 1635. 

Myles Aspinall, called "Myles o' Gyles," was buried Jan. 19th, 1657-8.' 

James Aspinall, of Royshaw, had a son George, who died young in 1622. A son, 
Christopher, of James Aspinall, was baptized Sept. 28th, 1634. A daughter, Ann, 
married, in 1656, Thomas Alston of Wiswall. James Aspinall, senior, was living in 
1658. Isabel, wife of James Aspinall of Royshaw, died in June, 1658. 

James Aspinall of Royshaw ("junior" in 1656-8), had several children : — ^John, 
born in 1658; James, bom in 1669; Thomas, bom in 1671 ; a second John, bom in 
1673 ; Joseph, bom in 1677 ; and a daughter Elizabeth, bom in 1656. 

The following died in the years stated : — Thomas Asmoll, of Blackburn, 1674 ; 
George Aspinall, of Blackburn, 1676; John Aspinall, of Blackburn, 1678. 

Myles Aspinall, of Blackburn, occurs in 1679, when Ellen, his wife, was buried, 
March 9th, 1679-80. He died in 1687. A daughter, Ann, of Myles Aspinall, of 
Royshaw, died in 1659. 

Myles Aspinall, of Royshaw, married Nov. 5th, 1678, Elizabeth Core, and had 
issue between 1680 and 1690. 

The particular relation of the above Aspinalls to each other cannot be proved by 
the church registers alone ; but most of them appear to have belonged to the family 
that had the Royshaw freehold. 

Later, Myles Aspinall, of Blackbum, chapman, occurs in 1757, when he had a 
son John bom, and when Elizabeth, his wife, deceased. 

Myles Aspinall of Blackbum, gentleman, married, Sept. 25th, 1763, Mary 
Dewhurst, widow. 


The freeholder named Barcroft who had an estate in Blackbum at the date of the 
Survey of 1617, was a member of the Barcrofts of Barcroft, in Cliviger. Robert 
Barcroft, of Barcroft, who died in April, 1612, was proved by inquisition for the escheat 
to have been seized (besides lands in Cliviger) of the half of one messuage and a 
cottage, with 40 acres of arable land, meadow, and pasture, in Blackbum, held of 
Thomas Barton, Esq., in socage. 

William Barcroft, son of Robert, had, by the Decree of 1618, eleven acres of 
Waste in Blackbum allotted him, on account of his 24 customary acres of freehold 
land there. He died in 1620, in possession of a messuage and lands in Blackbum, as 
well as his lands in Cliviger, Worsthome, and Hurstwood. His eldest son and heii 
was Thomas Barcroft 


The Boltons were lessees of the estate of the Brookhouse, in Blackburn, a portion 
of the Rectory Glebe, and may also have possessed at some period a small freehold in 
the township. "■ William Bolton, of Blackburn, was assessed to the Subsidy in 1523. 
Richard Bolton, livingat the Brookhouse in 1545, had sons Adam, Giles, and Robert. 
Adam Bolton, tenant of the Brookhouse estate in 1570, a first Governor of 
Blackburn Free Grammar School in 1567, died in 1593. By his wife Elizabeth, who 
died in 1610, he had sons Adam, Giles, Thomas, James, John, and Robert — the 
youngest being the distinguished Puritan divine. 

Adam Bolton, eldest son of Adam, farmed the Brookhouse tenement from 1593 
until his death in 1639. He had a daughter Elizabeth, bom in 1605. The Will of 
Adam Bolton, of Brookhouse, yeoman, is dated Feb. 28th, 1639-40, and was proved 
April 3rd, 1640. Testator desires to be buried in Blackburn Church; and bequeaths 
to his daughter Elizabeth, whom he appoints his executrix, all his goods whatsoever. 

Several of the younger brethren of Adam must be noted. Giles Bolton, who also 
occupied Brookhouse, became a Governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1625. 
He died in 1641. He had sons, Adam, died in 1616 ; Robert ; Thomas; John, "of 
Brookhouse, gentleman," a Governor of the Grammar School (elected in 1662), and 
Clerk of Blackburn Parish Church, died in 1688; and James. 

Thomas Bolton, third son of Adam, died in 1622. — James Bolton, fourth son, who 
died in 1635, had sons James, Joseph, and Adam. The younger son, Adam, entered 
the church, and was instituted to the Vicarage of his native parish in June, 1628, on 
the appointment of Archbishop Abbot. Vicar Bolton married Ann, sister of William 
Farrington, Esq., and died in 1646. His Will is dated Sept. 24th, 1646. In it 
reference is made to Ann, wife of testator, a son Samuel, a daughter Hannah, two 
brothers, James and Joseph, and several sisters. Ann, wife, and WilUam Farrington 
and Henry Tomlinson, brothers-in-law of testator, executors. Samuel Bolton, son 
of the Vicar, is supposed to have been the well-known Doctor of Divinity, Samuel 
Bolton, but this is doubtful by the dates, and his biographers give us no hints of his 
Blackburn parentage. Dr. Samuel Bolton was born in 1606, educated at Cambridge. 
He was in succession Vicar of St. Martin's, in the City of London, St. Saviour's, South- 
wark, and St. Andrew's, Holbom. Upon the death of Dr. Bainbrigge, he was chosen 
Master of Christ's College, Cambridge, and held that office until his death. He died 
October iSth, 1654, aged 48 years ; and was buried in St. Martin's Church, Ludgate- 
street, London. Calamy, his friend, preached his funeral sermon. Dr. Samuel 
Bolton's published writings include a sermon preached before the House of Commons 
on Humiliation Day, March 25th, 1646 ; and numerous theological treatises. His 
■works were published between the years 1644 and 1657. A collected edition, issued 
in 1657, has for frontispiece a portrait of the Doctor, engraved by Van Horn. 

John Bolton, of Blackburn, another son of Adam, was lessee of Thomas Holden's 
freehold estate in the township in 1617. 

Robert Bolton, youngest of the sons of Adam Bolton of Brookhouse, was the 
famous Greek scholar and preacher, who by his gifts and graces dignified the humble 
yeoman stock from which he sprung. The original source of information concerning 
him is the memoir composed by "E. B." (Edward Bagshawe, his intimate friend), 
entitled " The Life and Death of Mr. Bolton," which is prefixed to the four editions of 

1 See, for interesting particulars of this family, a " Genealogical Account of the Family of Bolton 
in England and America," by Robert Bolton, A,M. New York, 1862. 


Mr. Bolton's last work "Of the Four Last Things," published in 1632, 1633, 1635, and 
1639. Of his birth and birth-place Bagshawe writes : — " He was borne at Blackborne 
a towne of good note in Lancashire (a country fruitfull of good wits, witness those two 
great lights of learning, the unkle and nephew. Dean Nowell and Dr. [William] 
Whitaker), on Whitsunday Anno Dom. 1572. His parents being not of any great 
meanes, yet finding in him a great towardliness for learning, destinated him to bee a 
scholler, and strugled with their estate to furnish him with necessaries in that kind, 
apprehending the advantage of a singular School-master that was then in the towne 
[Mr. Yates, Master of the Grammar School]. Hee plied his booke so well, that in 
short time he became the best Scholler in the Schoole. He continued long at Schoole, 
and came not to the University till about the twentieth yeare of his age. He was 
placed at Oxford in Lincolne CoUedge, under the tuition of Mr. Randall, a man of no 
great note then, but afterward became a learned divine and godly preacher at London. 
In that Colledge he fell close to the studies of logicke and philosophic, and by reason 
of that groundwork of learning he got at schoole, and maturity of yeares, he quickly 
got the start of those of his owne time, and grew into fame in that house. In the 
middest of these his studies his father died, and then his meanes failed, for all his 
father's lands fell to his elder brother now living. " Anderton, another brilliant youth, 
was Bolton's schoolfellow at Blackburn ; and the acquaintance was renewed at Oxford. 
When the death of his father had left him almost in penury, Robert Bolton did not 
succumb to the difficulties of his situation. No longer able to purchase books, he 
borrowed from his tutor Randal, and copied lai^e portions of many works into manu- 
script books, so as to have the contents available 'vvhen the borrowed volumes had 
been returned. It was in the classic languages that Bolton displayed the greatest 
proficiency, especially in Greek, in which Anthony Wood says he "was so expert that 
he could write it and dispute in it with as much ease as in English or Latin. " After 
a few years' residence at Lincoln College, Bolton transferred himself to Brazenose 
College, with the view of striving for one of its fellowships. He proceeded Bachelor 
of Arts in 1596. For six years, until the coveted fellowship was won, Robert Bolton 
had to depend upon friends for assistance, and was much beholden to Dr. Brett, of 
Lincoln College, for many acts of service. It was in 1602 that Bolton was elected a 
Fellow of his college, and he took the degree of Master of Arts in July of the same year. 
By this time his singular abilities becoming widely known, procured for him the posts 
of Lecturer in Logic and in Moral and Natural Philosophy in Brazenose. On a visit 
of King James the First to Oxford, Mr. Bolton was chosen as one of several to exhibit 
their powers of disputation for the monarch's entertainment, and the royal pedant was 
so impressed by Bolton's gifts that he afterwards spoke of him as the "brightest 
ornament " of his college. At this period of his life it is recorded that Bolton had no 
religious feeling, but was a swearer, a Sabbath-breaker, and had a fondness for cards, 
plays, and similar recreations. His associate, Anderton, known for his eloquence as 
"Golden-mouthed Anderton," a zealous adherent of the Roman Church, employed all 
his persuasiveness to induce Bolton to join that Communion. He had exacted his promise 
to go with him to the Continent, to enter one of the Catholic seminaries in Flanders, 
tempting the poverty of Bolton with promises of abundant gold. An accident 
frustrated this design of Anderton, and Bolton was restored to Oxford and the reformed 
faith. "A day and place were appointed in Lancashire, where they should meet and 
from thence take shipping and be gone. Mr. Bolton went at the day and place, but 
Mr. Anderton came not, so hee escaped that snare. " After Anderton 's departure, 
the character of Robert Bolton underwent a rapid transformation through the instruc- 
tions of the excellent Mr. Thomas Peacock. On taking the degree of Bachelor of 


Divinity in 1609, he resolved to enter upon the clerical office, and in 1610 was presented 
• by Sir Augustine Nicolls to the rectory of Broughton in Northamptonshire. He was then 
thirty-eight years old, and two years after, in 1612, Mr. Bolton married Anne, youngest 
daughter of Vincent Boys, Esq., of Bakesbourne, Kent. Mr. Bolton remained at 
Broughton more than twenty years, until his death in 1631. He was remarkably 
assiduous alike in his parochial duties and his pulpit ministrations. Throughout his 
ministry he preached thrice on the Sunday and catechised in the afternoon. All his 
sermons and writings are marked by a great ardour of personal religion. Of his 
domestic relations, his biographer writes that "for the better settling of himself in 
housekeeping upon his parsonage, he resolved upon marriage, and took to wife Mrs. 
Anne Boyse, a gentlewoman of an ancient house and worshipful! family in Kent, to 
whose care he committed the ordering of his outward estate, hee himselfe onely minding 
the studies and weighty affaires of his heavenly calling." Five children were bom to 
him, the only son being named Samuel Bolton, afterwards an eminent churchman, a 
D.D. of Oxford, Prebendary of Westminster, and Chaplain in Ordinary to King 
Charles H., a man "of extraordinary ability and great integrity," who died nth 
February, 1668, and was buried in the South transept of Westminster Abbey, where 
his grave slab remains. The four daughters of the Rev. Robert Bolton were Hannah, 
Mary, Elizabeth, and Sarah. 

The ministry of this learned native of Blackburn was brought to a close by a 
quartan ague, which seized him in the year 1631. His illness was long and painful, 
but was endured with exemplary fortitude of spirit. Of the incidents of his death-bed, 
his biographer mentions these : — A little before his departure, and expecting every 
moment to be his last, being told that some of his best friends were about to take their 
last farewell, he caused himself to be raised up, and bowing himself upon his bed's 
head, after a few gaspings for breath, he spoke as follows : — "I am now drawing on 
apace to my dissolution. Hold out, faith and patience, your work will speedily be at an 
end." Then shaking them all by the hand, he said: — " Make sure of heaven, and keep 
in mind what I have formerly delivered to you. The doctrine which I have preached to 
you for the space of twenty years is the truth of God, as I shall answer at the tribunal 
of Christ, before whom I must shortly appear." This he spake when the very pangs of 
death were upon him. A dear friend, taking him by the hand, asked him whether he 
felt much pain. " Truly no," said he, " the greatest pain I feel is your cold hand ;" and 
presently expired. The date of his death was Saturday, December 17th, 1631. He 
was then in the sixtieth year of his age. He was buried December 19th, in the chancel 
of his own church, St. Andrew's, Broughton, North-hants. Against the chance! wall 
is fixed the monument of Bolton, which is not unsimilar in design to the well-known 
monument of Shakspere in the chancel of Stratford Church. Bolton's memorial 
consists of an alcove containing the half-length figure of the rector, his hands placed in 
the attitude of prayer, and his arms resting upon an open book ; the face and figure 
are those of a somewhat robust man ; the forehead is high, the hair rather crisp, the 
beard and lip unshaven, the general aspect reverend. Underneath the effigy is a I^atin 
inscription, translated: — "Here lies, peaceably sleeping in the Lord, the body of 
Robert Bolton, who died December the seventeenth, in the year 1631. He was. 
one of the first and most learned of our Church ; his other excellencies all England 
tnoweth, lamenting the day of his death. " 

Mr. Bolton's fimeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Nicholas Estwick, 
B.D., minister of Warkton, North-hants, and was published in 1635, entitled "A 
Sacred and Godly Sermon preached on the 19 day of December, A. D. 1 63 1, at the 
Fuuerall of Mr. Robert Bolton, Batchelour in Divinity," &c. 


A portrait of our Worthy, painted on wood, is in the Chetham Library, 
Manchester. Another portrait on panel is said to be at the Holme, in Cliviger. 
Bagshaw's edition of Bolton's last work, published in 1632, the year after his decease, 
is enriched by a portrait on steel, engraved by John Payne ; with a Latin quartet 
below, Englished on the title-page thus : — 

Behold an Image onely : There is none 

That Bolton's ghost can paint : To Heav'n it's gone. 

More learn'd or good, I know not ; This is true, 

Whom one day lost, scarce can an age renue 

E. B. [Edward Bagshawe.1 
The testimonies of Robert Bolton's contemporaries to his character, abilities, and 
learning are of the highest kind. Wood, the historian of Oxford, speaks of him as "a 
most religious and learned Puritan, a painful and constant preacher, a person of great 
zeal for God, charitable and bountiful ; and so famous for relieving afflicted consciences, 
that many foreigners resorted to him, as well as persons at home, and found relief. " 
Fuller records : — "The same year [1631] died Robert Bolton, bom in Lancashire, 
bred in Brazenose CoUedge, Oxford, beneficed at Broughton, North-hants. An 
authoritative preacher, who majestically became the pulpit, and whose life is exactly 
written at lai^e by my good friend Mr. Bagshaw. " A seventeenth-century diarist 
(Revd. John Ward, Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon), says of Bolton: — "What was 
Nazianzen's commendation of Basil might bee Bolton's : hee thunderd in his life, and 
lightend in his conversation." The biographer of Joseph AUeine (A.D. 1672), records 
that "Reverend Mr. Bolton, while walking in the streets, was so much cloathed with 
majesty, as by the notice of his coming in the words 'Here comes Mr. Bolton,' as it 
were to charm them [the populace] into order, when vain or doing amiss. " 

Another writer of the time remarks : — "It is observed of this holy and reverend 
divine, that he was so highly esteemed in Northamptonshire, that the people, who 
beheld his white locks of hair, could point at him and say, ' When that snow shall be 
dissolved, there will be a great flood, ' and so it proved ; for there never was a minister 
in that county who lived more beloved or died more lamented. Floods of tears were 
shed over his grave." The Will of this illustrious native of Blackburn is dated 
Broughton, November 12th, 1631, and was proved at Canterbury in June, 1632. 
After a pious declaration, testator wills that Anne Bolton, his wife, shall have his 
messuage and lands in Broughton, for so long as she shall continue unmarried, towards 
her maintenance and the good education of testator's children ; if she marry, she shall 
resort to her dower and thirds of the said messuage and lands. To Hannah Bolton, 
testator's eldest daughter, ;^250 on the day of her marriage or of the death of her 
mother ; to Mary, Elizabeth, and Sarah, younger daughters, certain parcels of land 
in Broughton and £40 in money amongst them. All testator's other messuages, 
tenements, &c., in Broughton, not otherwise devised, to descend and go to testator's 
son and heir, Samuel Bolton. Anne Bolton, testator's wife, to have the use of all his 
plate and household stuff while she lives. Three pounds given to be distributed to the 
poor of Broughton. Anne Bolton, wife, made sole executrix. After the signature of 
testator follow the words : — "O Lord, into thy hands I commend my Spiritt ! Thou 
has redeemed it ! O Lord, God of Truth, Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit !" 
The following is a category of the published works of Mr. Bolton : — 

1. A Discourse about the State of True Happinesse, Delivered in Certaine 
Sermons in Oxford and at St. Pauls Crosse. (First edition, 161 1 ; seventh edition, 
(Works) 1638.) 

2. Some Generall Directions for a Comfortable Walking with God : Delivered 
in the Lecture at Kettering, &c. (First edition, 1625 ; fifth edition (Works), 1638.) 



3. Meditations of the Life to Come. 1628. 

4. Instructions for a Right Comforting Afflicted Consciences. (First edition, 
1631 ; third edition (Works), 164a) 

5. Helps to Humiliation. Oxford. 1631. 

6. [Posthumous] Mr. Bolton's Last and Learned Worke of the Foure Last 
Things, Death, Judgement, Hell, and Heaven. With his Assize Sermon and Notes 
on Justice NicoUs his Funerall. (First edition, 1632 ; third edition (Works), 1641.) 

7. Assize Sermons and other Sermons. 1632. 

8. The Camall Professor ; or the Wofiil Slavery of Man Guided by the Flesh. 

9. A Three-Fold Treatise : Containing the Saints Sure and Perpetuall Guide, 
Selfe-enriching Examination, and Soule-fatting Fasting ; or Meditations concerning the 
Word, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and Fasting. 1634. 

10. The Saints Soule Exalting Humiliation. 1634. 

11. A Short and Private Discourse with M. S. concerning Usury. 1637. 

12. Devout Prayers upon Solemn Occasions. 1638. 

13. A Cordiall for Christians in the Time of Affliction. 1640. 

14. The Last Visitation, Conflict, and Death of Mr. Thomas Peacock, B.D. 
&c., 1646. 

The Workes of the Reverend, truly Pious, and Judiciously Learned Robert Bolton, 
B.D., &c., as they vfere finished by him in his life time. (Include Life, by E.B. ; 
Discourse of True Happiness; Comfortable Walking with God; Instructions, &c., 
for Afflicted Consciences ; Four Last Things ; and his Funeral Sermon, by Estwick. ) 
IX)ndon : Printed by George Miller, 164 1. (3 vols.) 


John Bury, townsman, appears on the Blackburn Church Register in 1624, when 
his wife was buried. 

Myles Berrie married, August 6th, 1615, Aim Livesey. 

Mr. Robert Bury, of Ousebooth, was a Governor of the Grammar School in 1681. 

John Bury, of Blackburn, yeoman, was buried Feb., 1730-1. 

Mr. Miles Berrie, of Ousebooth, was elected a Governor of the Grammar School, 
Dec. 2ist, 1720. He was buried at Blackburn Church — "Miles Bury of Blackburn, 
yeoman" — Jan. 20th, 1763. By his wife, Elizabeth, he had sons, Robert, bapt. 
Aug. 7th, 1724, and John, bapt. Jan. 6th, 1729-30 ; also a daughter Alice, bom in 1726. 


The Dewhursts were copyholders in Blackburn township. William Dewhurst of 
Beard wood Green, a first Governor of the Grammar School in 1567, by a copy of 
Court Roll of Clitheroe, dated May 2Stb, 26th Eliz. (1583-4), was entitled to a messuage 
and 34X acres of land in Blackburn. He had a son and heir, John ; and a younger 
son Roger was bom in 1568, who had a son Thomas, bom in 1608, died in 1625. 

John Dewhurst, of Blackburn, a copyholder in 1617, by the Decree for the 
enclosure of Waste Lands in Blackburn was awarded for his 34^ acres customary 
measure 17 acres of waste. He died in July, 1626. He had, I think, sons John ; 
Henry, bom in 1600, died 1633; and William, a warden of the Church in 1635, died 
in 1639. 

Next comes John Dewhurst, of Billinge Carr, Blackbum, who by his wife, who 
died Dec, 1623, had sons John and James, — the latter died in Oct., 1603. John 
Dewhurst the father was a juror at the Parliamentary Survey of 1650. 


John Dewhurst, Junior, was a juror also on that Survey. "John Dewhurst of 
Blackburn, freeholder," is named in 1657. 

Thomas Dewhurst, of Billinge Carr, buried Janet, his wife, April 24th, 1656. 

Arthur Dewhurst of Blackburn (a son of William who died in 1639), was buried 
March 8th, 1679. His son Roger died in Oct., 1675. 

Thomas Dewhurst of Blackburn, had a son John, bom in 1675. Richard 
Dewhurst of Blackburn, son of Thomas, had a son Daniel, bom in 1674. 

James Dewhurst, of Blackburn, yeoman, was buried April 7th, 1763. John 
Dewhurst of Blackburn, yeoman, died in March, 1765. 


William Edge, of Blackburn, gent., is found in a list of free tenants in 1621. 

Ellis Edge, of Blackbum, married, in 1618, Ann Gerrard, and had a son Ellis, 
who died in 1626, and another son christened Ellis, who survived him. 

Peter Edge married Ellen Hodgson, Feb. 27th, 1602. Peter Edge of Blackbum, 
yeoman, was a Governor of Blackbum Grammar School in 1628. 

A younger Peter Edge was elected a Govemor of the same foundation, Jan. 12th, 

Ellis Edge, a Govemor of the Grammar School in 1654, died in July, 1688. 

In the petition for Vicar Clayton in 1660, John Edge, another John, and Giles 
Edge are petitioners. 

William Edge of Blackbum, yeoman, died in August, 1 753. 

Henry Edge of Blackbum, yeoman, by his wife Elizabeth, had a son John, bom 
in 1748. 


The oldest giave-stone in Blackburn Parish Churchyard is supposed to be that of 
one Christopher Lawe ; it has the initials " C L " with the date " 1510," filled in with 

Eighty years later, according to Dugdale the herald, another Christopher Lawe of 
Blackbum made his Will, dying about 1590. He had sons Richard; Thomas ; James 
of London ; John ; and Miles — the three last-named living in 1590 ; and a daughter 

Richard Lawe, of Blackbum, son of Christopher, was a Govemor of the Grammar 
School from before 1590 until after 1628. In the decree conceming the allotment of 
Blackbum Waste Lands in 1617, Richard Lawe is named as a freeholder. He married 
Katherine, daughter of John Bolton of Bank-hey, Little Harwood, and by her had 
issue five sons and four daughters. The sons were — Christopher, bapt. March 14th, 
1592; Miles, of Royshaw, Blackbum; John; Thomas; and Benjamin. The 
daughters tvere — Ann, wife of William Sudell of Preston ; Katherine, wife of Richard 
Agworth ; Mary, wife of Thomas Drinkall ; and Christabel, wife of Edward Snape. 
It will be necessary to note separately the posterity of Richard Lawe by four of his 
sons — Christopher, Miles, John, and Benjamin. 

Christopher Lawe, first son, had two sons, John, whose son Christopher Lawe 
was a "citizen and grocer of London;" and Geoi^e. The latter, George Lawe of 
Blackbum, who died in December, 1692, had by Jennet, his wife (died in October, 
1678), a son Richard, who died, probably, in 1733. 

Miles Lawe of Royshaw, next brother of Christopher, was warden of Blackbum 
Church in 1636. He married, June, 1619, Jenet Kenion, and had sons Richard, 
Thomas, and John — the last bom in 1635 ; also a daughter Elizabeth, bom in 1 630. 
His wife — "Uxor Myles Lawe de Royshaw," was buried March i8th, 1651-2. 


John Lawe, of Blackburn, third son of Richard, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter 
of John Proctor of Lower Darwen, had a son John, of Preston, bom in 1632 (who 
married Jane, daughter of Evan Wall of Preston, and had a son John and two 
daughters prior to 1664). The father died about 1658. Whitaker's List of Seneschals 
of Blackburnshire gives the names of Andrew Holden, gent. , and John Lawe, gent. , 
as holding the office from 1656 to 1658, during the Protectorship of Cromwell. In 
the Grammar School annals, printed in this history, it appears that in 1634 "John 
Lawe the younger " (most likely the above John, who had an uncle John that might 
then be living) was made a Governor of the School, and appointed to keep the school- 
key, kept by his grandfather. 

Benjamin Lawe, youngest son of Richard, is entered in 1664 by Dugdale as then 
of Blackburn. "Benjamin Lawe, widower," married March 2nd, 1656-7, Margaret, 
daughter of Alexander Baron, of Rishton, and had sons Richard, bom before 1664, 
John, died 1674, Thomas, died 1675, and probably Robert. Benjamin Lawe, of 
Blackburn, buried July 2nd, 1697, may refer to this representative. 

Richard Lawe of Blackburn, yeoman, cannot be clearly distinguished among three 
Richards — sons respectively of Miles, Benjamin, and George Lawe. He died in 
September, 1729. He had issue sons John and Thomas, twins, bom and died April, 
1688 ; another John, died 1692 ; and Samuel, bom 1694 ; and daughters Martha and 
Mary, twins, bom May, 1696. 

Robert Lawe of Blackburn, husbandman, I suppose to be a son of Benjamin by 
his naming his son Benjamin, bapt. December 3rd, 1704; he had also a son Robert, 
bom in 1709. 

Christopher Lawe and Ellen Orrell, both of Blackburn, married February 12th, 


Thurstan Maudsley, in the 1st Eliz. (1558) was lessee under Sir Thomas Talbot 
of lands in Blackburn belonging to Blackburn Parsonage. In 1567 he was made a 
first governor of Blackbum Grammar School. 

Edward Maudsley of Ousebooth, a govemor of the Grammar School, died in 
1 592, leaving no issue. Henry, his brother, was his heir. 

Henry Maudsley, of Blackbum, was made a govemor of the Grammar School 
in 1593. By copy of Court Roll of Clitheroe, dated April 23rd, 1593, it was recorded 
that Edward Maudsley, then recently deceased, had held a messuage called Ousebooth 
and 16 acres of land in copyhold, and Henry, his brother and heir, claimed to be 
admitted into the tenement, and was admitted. He died about 1614, when his son 
Thurstan entered into possession of the copyhold. 

Thurstan Maudsley, of Ousebooth, gent., in 1617, had seven acres of waste land 
allotted to him on account of his copyhold farm. He was made a govemor of the 
Grammar School in 1616 ; in 1637 appears as a juror, and died about 1654. He had 
sons, Thurstan; Henry, bom in 1632; and Thomas, bom in 1635; and daughters, 
Elizabeth, bom in 1614, married John Cunliffe, of Hollins ; Katherine, bom in 1620, 
died 1621 ; and Ann, bom in 1625, died in 1633. 

Thurstan Maudsley, of Ousebooth, gent., son of Thurstan, became a govemor 
of the Grammar School in 1654. He married in 1656 — " Thurstan, son of Thurstan 
Maudsley deceased, and Alice, daughter of William Rishton, within the parish of 
Deane, gentlewoman," banns "published at Blackbum Market Cross," in April, 
1656. His eldest son, Thurstan, was bora December 3rd, 1657 ; and he had a 
yovmger son, Henry. Thurstan Maudsley the father died in June, 1677. 



His son, Thurstan Maudsley, gent., in the year 1684 gave a benefaction of £s to 
the endowment of Darwen Chapel, and died in March, 1685-6. 

Henry Maudsley of Ousebooth, gent., on the decease of his brother Thurstan 
gave a sum of ;fio to the Poor of Blackburn. This Henry married, February 5th, 
1686-7, "Mrs. Anne Haworth," and had issue sons Thurstan, bapt. October 19th, 
1690; Henry, of Blackburn, yeoman, died in May, 1755 ; and Thomas; daughters, 
Ann, bom in 1692; Mary, bom in 1694; and Elizabeth, bom in 1696. Mr. Henry 
Maudsley was made a Governor of the Grammar School in i6S6 ; and he died in 
1697-8, buried January 13th. 

Thurstan Maudsley, son of the last Thurstan, died in October, 1752, having had 
issue by his wife, Lettice, who died in 1756. 

A later Thurstan Maudsley, whose parentage I have not noted, by his wife Grace 
had sons John, bom in 1 761, Thomas, James, and William. 

Thomas Maudsley of Ousebooth, gent., probably a son of the Henry Maudsley 
who died in 1686, was a Governor of the Grammar School in 1711, and living in 

Another Thomas Maudsley, of Ousebooth, gent. , by Catherine, his wife, had sons 
Hilton, bom in 1732, and Thomas, bom in 1735. 

Thomas Maudsley of Blackburn, apothecary, who died in August, 1757, was of 
this family. He had married, July 12th, 1744, Elizabeth Hindle, of Blackburn. 


There was a family of Sharpies of some estate domiciled in Blackburn in the reign 
of Henry VIIL, and to the Subsidy of 1523 both Robert Sharpulls, of Blackburn, and 
Lawrence Sharpulls were assessed ; as well as one George Sharpulls in Mellor town- 

Robert Sharpies, of Blackburn, in the reign of Elizabeth, married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Alexander Sharpies, of Sharpies, gent. ; a family from which Sharpies 
of Blackbum not improbably was an offshoot. 

Lawrence Sharpies, of Blackbum, died in 1606 ; his wife died in 1605. 

Geoffrey Sharpies, of Blackbum, had a son Richard, bora in 1600. " Richard 
Sharpies, oppidan," was buried at Blackburn Church, October 14th, 1623. Perhaps 
this was the Richard Sharpies who had married, in October, 1622, Cicely Holden. 

John Sharpies, of Blackbum, gent., appears as a townsman of position in the 
reigns of the first Stuarts ; as a Governor of Blackbum Grammar School in 1634. He 
married, November 13th, 1614, Jane Harwood, and had a son, Randal ; and a daughter 
Hannah, married at Preston, January 26th, 1655-6, to William Shaw, of Shaw Hall, 
Leyland, gent. ; and (I think) Anne, wife of William Yates of Blackbum, gent. 

Randal (or Randolph) Sharpies, of Blackbum, gent., son of John, was baptized 
November 9th, 1655. He married, at Church Kirk, Febraary nth, 1654, Anne, 
daughter of William Rishton, of Dunnishop, gent. Issue included sons, John, bom 
May, 1650 ; Elkanah, bora July, 1654 (" Mr. Elkaney Sharpies " buried at Blackbum 
Church, March 6th, 1674-5) '• Joseph and Benjamin, twins, bom March 15th, 1657-8; 
and daughters, Elizabeth, bora June, 1656 ; and Hannah, bom January, 1659-60. The 
father, Mr. Randal Sharpies, was a remarkably active partizan of the Parliamentarian 
interest in the Civil War of 1642-51. He was placed in the Commission of the Peace for 
the county, and in his capacity as Justice officiated at most of the marriages by civil 
process in Blackbum on the abolition of the clerical ceremony in 1653. These magis- 
terial marriages were registered in the Parish Books according to this example : — 
"Nicholas Rishton, of Oswaldtwistle, and Susan RatcUffe, of the same, were married 
in the presence of Randle Sharpies, Justice of the Peace, July i ith, 1652." " Randell 
Sharpies, of Blackbum, gent.," was buried May 27th, 1673. 



Joseph Sharpies, of Blackburn, tenant of the Rectory estate, and John Sharpies 
occur about 1663. John Sharpies, of Blackburn, died in May, 1684. 

Joseph Sharpies, of Blackburn, gent., one of the twin sons of the above Randal, was 
made a Governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1679. He had a son Randal, who 
died in infancy in 1681 ; and a son John, bom in 1684. In 1689, the heirs of Joseph 
Sharpies, of Blackburn, for Okenhead Wood, provided a Greave of Rossendale. 

In the Manchester Parish Register appears, April 20th, 1710, the death of " Mr. 
John Sharpies, dyed at Manchester, buried at Blackbume." 

There was another Randal Sharpies, contemporary with the Justice of that name, 
who died in 1672, and had a son Randal; the latter, living in 1715, had a son John, 
bom in 1715; died in 1718. He might be the "Randall Sharpies of the Parish of 
Whalley," who married, in 1697, Isabel Cross, of this parish. 

Other and later members, whose relation cannot be positively defined, are : — John 
Sharpies, of Blackbum, living at the East Bridge in 1656, had a son John, bom that 
year. " Mr. George Sharpies, of Blackbum, apothecary," had a son Edward, bom in 
1700. Thomas Sharpies, of Blackbum, chapman, had a son John, bora in 1701. John 
Sharpies, of Blackbum, yeoman, married, in I737> Anne Tarrant, of Livesey, and had 
a son Thomas, bom in 1742 ; the father died in 1762. Henry Sharpies, of Blackbum, 
bom in 1718, died in 1791, aged 73. 


Robert Warde was a first Govemor of the Grammar School in 1567. 

WiUiam Warde married, December 19th, 1616, Mary Ainsworth. 

William Ward, a juror, on the Parliamentary Survey of 1650, was living in 1660. 

Henry Ward, of Blackbum, probably father of Ann Ward married to Robert 
Peel in 1681, died in 1710, as his gravestone in the Parish Church-yard records : — 
"Henry Ward, 1710." 

William Ward, of Blackbum, chapman, son of Henry, died in 1734; his name is 
on the same tombstone : — " William Ward, of Blackbum, who died Nov. 30th, 1734." 

Among the Vicar's tenants in Blackbum, about the year 17 16, were Henry Ward, 
occupying a house, bam, and garden, and Richard Ward, tenant of a house and 

A later WiUiam Ward, of Blackbum, chapman, had a son William, bom in 1740. 

Hemy Ward, of Blackbum, yeoman, was buried January 3rd, 1784, aged 76 years. 

Mr. Michael Ward, of Blackbum, surgeon, was made a Govemor of the Grammar 
School in 1789. 


Roger Whalley, of Todholl, Blackbum, married, December 28th, 1617, Jane 
Sothworthe. He had issue, sons Thomas, Thurstan, and James ; also a daughter 
Jane, married, Febraary 26th, 1655, to John Clayton, of Little Harwood, gent. 

A later Roger Whalley, of Blackburn, yeoman, by Margaret, his wife, who died 
in 1702, had a son Roger, buried Febraary 21st, 1700-1 ; and by a second wife, 
Mary Bramley, whom he married August i8th, 1704, another son Roger, died 1724. 


Reference has previously been made to the traditionary memorial 
of the foundation of the Church of Blackbum as centre of a parish 
detached from Whalley at some undetermined period of the Saxon era, — 
it may have been centuries anterior to the Norman Conquest ; also to the 
first precise record of the existence and endowment of this Parish 
Church in Domesday Book (1080-6), when two carucates of land in the 


Parish were found on the survey attached to Blackburn Church ; and 
two other carucates of land in Whalley Parish, free of all customs. It is 
further written in an ancient MS. that the primitive rectors of Blackburn, 
as of Whalley, were lords of the vill, who married and transmitted the 
rectory to their heirs as inheritance along with the secular estate. 
Gamaliel de Blackburn was Rector and Lord of the Manor about the 
time of the Conquest ; his son Gilbert succeeded, and John de Black- 
bum, son of Gilbert, was the next rector, whose son and heir Henry de 
Blackburn was living in 1160. 

About the middle of the 12th Century the Church of Blackburn is 
found under the right as superior lord of that Henry de Lascy who, in 
1 147, founded Bamoldswick Abbey (removed later to Kirkstall) ; and 
by a Charter undated, but given soon after the year 1160, Henry de 
Lascy granted to Henry, Clerk of Blackburn, the Church of Blackburn 
in all its completeness, viz., with the Chapel of Walton with all its 
liberty, in land and water, wood and plain ; likewise a certain benefice 
in the Church of Whalley and in the chapels of that church, which 
grantor's ancestors formerly assigned to Blackburn Church, as fully as 
John or any other precedent person had held the same.' Peche, 
Bishop of Coventry, confirmed the above presentation ; naming Gamaliel 
and Gilbert as predecessors of Henry de Blackburn in the benefice. 

Some years later, Robert de Lascy, son and successor of Henry de 
Lascy, granted to Adam de Blackburn, his clerk, that mediety of the 
Church of Blackburn which Richard, his ancestor, held ; and further 
gave that benefice in Whalley Church that belonged to the Church of 
Blackburn." Adam de Blackburn, clerk, was son of Richard, and 
grandson of Henry de Blackburn, whom Henry de Lascy had presented 
about 1 160. This Adam surrendered the dependent chapel of Walton 
to John de Lascy. Another Adam, brother of Richard and son of 
Henry de Blackburn, is mentioned below as holding one moiety of 
Blackburn Church. 

By grant referred to the year 1230, John de Lascy, Constable of 
Chester, gave in spontaneous charity " to God and the Blessed Mary 
and the Abbot and Monks of my Blessed Place of Stanlawe in pure and 
perpetual alms the moiety of the Church of Blackburn which Adam, son 
of Henry, holds, with Walton Chapel, and their appurtenances, as much 
as belongs to the lay gift, for the health of my soul, and of my wife, 
and for the health of the lord, my father and mother, and of my ancestors 
and successors.'" The gift was confirmed by another charter in 1238; 
and about the same time John de Lascy also bestowed upon the Abbot 
and Monks of Stanlawe that other moiety of the Church of Blackburn 

1 Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, v. i., pp. 75-6. a lb. pp. 76-7. 3 lb. pp. 72-3. 


which Roger, son of Adam, son of Henry de Blackburn, held, with all 
appurtenances within and without the bounds of the same parish, with 
his body for sepulture."- The donor, John de Lascy, died A.D. 1240. 

Edmund de Lascy, son of John, by charter " done at Ightenhull " 
manor, A.D. 1251, confirmed to the Monks of Stanlawe that moiety of 
the Church of Blackburn which Roger de Blackburn once held, with his 
body for burial at Stanlawe, if he should happen to die in England." 
The grant was sanctioned by Roger de Meuland, Bishop of Coventry and 
Lichfield, by charter dated 1259. From this time the Parish Church of 
Blackburn and its dependent chapels remained in the hands of the 
Cistercian fraternity of Stanlawe — Whalley until the suppression of that 
Monastery in 1537. 

The endowment of the Vicarial benefice of Blackburn remains 
substantially to this day as it was fixed six hundred years ago, by 
ordination of Roger de Meuland, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to 
consist of a glebe of two oxgangs of lands, a parsonage-house, and a 
pension or stipend of 40 marks per annum from the holders of the 
Rectorial estate. Of course, the rental-revenue from the glebe has 
increased enormously in the lengthened interval. The episcopal charter 
conferring this endowment is dated from Heywood, the 14th kalend 
of May, 1277, being the triple ordination of the Vicarages of Blackburn, 
Rochdale, and Eccles. Bishop Roger de Meuland, having made diligent 
inquiry concerning the income and wealth of these churches, upon the 
design to augment their vicarages, appoints and ordains concerning 
Blackburn that the vicarage of Blackburn consist of a suitable manse, to 
the Vicar ministering in the said Church previously assigned, with two 
oxgangs of land, and 40 marks annually to the Vicar for the time being 
from the Abbot and Convent of Blessed Place of Stanlawe (afterwards of 
Whalley) as impropriators of the Rectory of Blackburn. The Bishop, 
or the Archdeacon of Chester, to have power on appeal to enforce 
payment of the pension in case of neglect. The Vicars so endowed to 
perform service personally in the church, unless prevented by the 
diocesan, or otherwise legitimately hindered, and then to find other 
proper ministers in their stead, and at all other times, at their own 
charge, to cause service to be faithfully performed in the chapels 
belonging to the Parish Church by proper ministers and clerks." The 
first Vicar appointed after this ordination was probably John de 
Habyngdon, who is named as " late Vica* of Blackburn " in a deed 
dated 1289. William de Lench was instituted as Vicar in 1289, and by 
the Bishop's direction gave an undertaking to the Abbot of Stanlawe not to 
disturb the Conventual authorities respecting any augmentation of the 

1 Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, v. i., pp. 74-5. 2 lb. p. 77. 3 lb. pp. 85-6. 


vicarage. Thereafter, for about two centuries and a half, the Abbot and 
Monks of Whalley quietly received the Rectorial revenues, and nominated 
on each vacancy monks of this foundation to the Vicarage of Blackburn. 
The value of the Church of Blackburn is registered at several 
periods during the tenure of the Abbots of Whalley. In the Valor of 
Pope Nicholas (1288-92) the Church of Blackburn with chapel is 
returned as worth ^^33 6s. 8d. In the Abbey Compotiis of 1478 the 
receipt for the Church of Blackburn is entered as £,Z^ i6s. gd. ; and in 
that of 1521, the value of Blackburn Church with chapels is given as 
^133 IS. Then, at the Valor Ecclesiasticus ol 1534 (cited before), the 
Rectory of Blackburn is returned as worth ;£^74 6s. 8d. (including Rents 
of Glebe ^10 ; tithes of grain with hay ^^44 ; tithes of lambs with wool 
^£■4 ; oblations, small tithes, and Easter Roll ;^i6 6s. 8d.). Finally, on 
the Survey in 1538, after the suppression of the Monastery, the return of 
revenue for Blackburn Rectory is: — "The Parsonage of Blackbume 
with the Glebe Land and other tyeth belonging to the same by the year 
;^99 2s. lid." Whereout was paid the Vicar of Blackburn's pension, 
^26 8s. 4d. 


The estate of the Rectory of Blackburn remained m possession of 
the Crown about ten years after the Dissolution of Whalley Monastery 
and its alienation therefrom ; and then, by a deed of exchange between 
Edward VI. and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, dated 
June i2th, 1547 (ist Edw. VI.), were conveyed to the See of Canterbury 
"all those our Rectories and Churches of Whalley, Blackburn, and 
Rachdale, late to the Monastery or Abbey of Whalley lately dissolved 
formerly belonging, and also all those our Chapels of Padiham, Clyder- 
how. Coin, Brunley, Churche, Altham, Haslingden, Bowland, Penhull, 
Trawden [Marsden], and Rossendale [Newchurch], and our Chapel 
of Clyderhow, with all those our Chapels of Law, Samlesbury, Saddle- 
worth, Butterworth, &c., and the advowson and right of patronage of the 
aforesaid Churches of \Vhalley, Blackburn, and Rachdale, to the said 
late Monastery formerly belonging." 

Thenceforward, the Rectory Glebe, of 500 customary acres, was 
farmed on leases from the Primates. The first lessees after 1547 were 
John Comberford and Robert Billott, who sold the residue of their lease 
to Sir Thomas Talbot, of the Holt and Bashall, Knt, before 1550. Sir 
Thomas Talbot sub-leased portions of the estate. In the ist Eliz. 
(1558), Oliver Livesey, claiming by a lease, had a suit with Thurstan 
Maudsley, lessee of Sir Thomas Talbot, Knt., concerning a bam of three 
bays in Blackburn, parcel of Blackburn Rectory. Sir Thomas Talbot 



died at Haudley, the Rectory Parsonage, in 1558, and by his Will 
bequeathed to his daughter Anne his " lease of the Parsonage of Blag- 
borne." In the Inventory of this Knight's effects, prysed at Haudley in 
July, 1559, Blackburn Parsonage is valued at ;£3oo. 

Anne Talbot, daughter of Sir Thomas, to whom this lease was 
devised, had married William ffarington of Worden, Esq., who executed 
Sir Thomas's Will, and paid ^140 los. for his funeral expenses. 
William ffarington was about this time rebuilding his ancestral house at 
Worden, and abode ititerim at Audley Hall in Blackburn. In 1559, 
Robert Barton and William Farrington were against Sir John South- 
worth, Knt., and his tenants, in a suit as to pasture in Mellor, in right 
of Blackburn Waste, as parcel of the Rectory of Blackburn parsonage. 
Another action-at-law took place in the 7th Eliz. (1564), when William 
Farrington, claiming the estate and interest in the Manor of Blackbume 
of Sir Thomas Talbot, as lessee of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
confirmed by the Dean and Chapter, was against Nicholas Hayworth 
and others, claiming as lessees of Sir Thomas Talbot, as to divers 
specified lands, parcel of the Rectory and parsonage of Blackbume, for 
alleged enclosures and encroachments by the defendants, by buildings 
on Blakeley Moor, and particularly on the Marsh there. In the year 
1569 (i ith Eliz.) an attempt was made to assert Royal rights in the manor 
of Blackburn, as well over the Rectorial as the temporal moieties of the 
manor. A suit was instituted in the Duchy Court, in which the Attorney 
General of the Duchy, on behalf of the Queen, as seized of the Manor 
of Blackbume in fee, and in right of the Duchy, was plaintiff", and 
Robert Barton, claiming by descent in fee, and William Farrington, 
claiming the interest of John Cumberford and Robert Billotte, lessees 
of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop, and the Dean and Chapter of Canter- 
bury, defendants, seeking to recover divers lands, tenements, waste 
grounds, &c., in Blackbum Manor and Parsonage, and digging for coals 
in Blackbum Moor. Canon Raines, in his memoir of William ffarington, 
refers to this singular action, and notes its issue : — " Mr. Barton 
and the See of Canterbury, after a hearing, established their joint claim, 
and the Queen, without much grace, retired from the contest, foiled in 
her rapacity.'" After this successful defence of their titles, Mr. ffarington 
and Mr. Barton united with their tenants in framing by-laws for the 
government of their estates in Blackbum. William ffarington, Esq., 
dwelt at Audley occasionally throughout his life. In 1594, going to 
London on legal business, Mr. ffarington records that he paid at Lambeth 
Palace a sum of ;^79 iis. 6d., for rent, &c., due on the 3rd May, of 
the Rectory of Blackbum. He died July 3rd, 1610. 

1 Stanley Papers (Introdn.), Part II, p. xxxii. 


This profitable lease was next acquired by the Fleetwoods, a branch 
of the Fleetwoods of Heskeyn. Sir William Fleetwood, Knt., son of 
Sir William, Recorder of the City of London, and brother of Sir Robert, 
is found lessee of Blackburn Rectory lands before 1616. Onward for 
about a century members of the Fleetwoods held the glebe by a 
succession of leases from the Archbishops.' 

Upon a Survey of the possessions of the Archbishopric of Canter- 
bury in Lancashire, taken at Blackburn, September 20th, 1616, by virtue 
of the King's Commission of Survey dated the 19th June, 14th James I., 
before Roger Nowell, Humphrey Davenport, and John Hart, Com- 
missioners, it was proved on the oaths of the Jurors, "that George 
[Abbot], the Lord Bishop of Canterbury, was seized in his demesne as 
of fee," &c., "of and in the appropriate Parsonages or Rectorys of 
Blackbome, Whalley, and Rachdale, in the said County of Lancaster, 
with all and every of their appurtenances, and of and in the patronage 
of the Vicarages of Blackbome, Whalley, and Rachdale ; and yt first 
concerning the Rectory of Blackbome, within the Parish of Blackbome, 
there is the Mother Church of Blackbome and these churches and 
chappells belonging to the said Mother Church, viz. : Law Church, 
Samlesbury Church, Harwood Church, Langho Chappell, Darwen 
Chappell, Tockholes Chappell, and Balderstone Chappell." 

On the allotment of Blackbum Waste lands in 16 18, as already 
recorded, 231 acres of waste and common were allotted to the Rectory 
estate, which was thus augmented by enclosure to 731 customary or 
about 1359 statute acres. 

1 The descent of the branch of the Fleetwoods that for several generations enjoyed the valuable 
tenancy on lease of Blackbum Rectory estate is indicated below : — William Fleetwood of Heskin, by 
Helen his wife, daughter of Robert Standish, had issue John, of Penwortham ; Thomas, father of 
Edward, the first of Rossall, and of Sir William Fleetwood (grandfather of Charles, who married a 
daughter of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector) ; Robert ; Edward, a monk ; Agnes, and Jennet. 
Robert Fleetwood, gent., third son of William, was father of Sir William, appointed Recorder of 
London in 1569. He resided on an estate he had acquired at Misenden, Co. Bucks, where he died, 
February 28^h, 1594. By his wife Marian, daughter of John Burleigh of Kingsley, Esq., he had sons, 
William : Sir Robert. Attorney General to Prince Henry, son of James L : Sir Thomas : Edward : 
James, and Francis ; daughters, Elizabeth and Cordelia. William Fleetwood, eldest son of Sir 
William, also received Knighthood. The younger Sir William acquired the lease of Blackburn 
Rectory lands soon after the death of William ffarington, Esq., in 1610. He married Ann, daughter 
of Robert Barton of Smithells, Esq. , and had sons, John ; Francis : Thomas ; Edward, and William ; 
daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Woodward, Knt. : Anne : Margaret ; Cordelia ; and Katherine. 
Sir Edward Fleetwood, a younger son of Sir William, appears as next lessee. In 1650 "Mrs. Marriane 
Fleetwood," (daughter of Sir William or widow of Sir Edward), held the Rectory estate on lease, to 
expire in 1661, when it was renewed. To Cordelia Fleetwood (a daughter of Sir William was named 
Cordelia), a lease of the Rectory of Blackburn was granted. December 24th, 1676, for a term of 21 
years. In 1679, " Cordelia Fleetwood, of the Citty of London, Spinster," is named as holding an 
estate in Samlesbury (the Fleetwood Hall estate, being glebe land of Blackburn Rectory). In 1695, 
"John Fleetwood, Esq., Farmer of the Rectory of Blackburn," was elected a Governor of the 
Grammar School. His widow, I suppose, was " Mrs. Sarah Fleetwood, widow," lessee of the Rectory 
in 1706 ; Mr. Johnson being her steward. In 1714, Mrs. Fleetwood was the occupant of Fleet- 
wood Hall in Samlesbury : but in 1725, a Mr. Franks was assessed for the Fleetwood Hall tenement. 


In • 1649, during the Commonwealth period, the Commission 
appointed by Parliament for the sale of Bishops' lands surveyed the 
Rectory of Blackburn, and returned an account of the mill and glebe 
lands belonging to the Rectory, and the tenants thereof; also reporting 
that " nearly half the houses in the said town did belong to the late 
Archbishop of Canterbury in right of his said bishopric," and that many 
of the said houses in the town, and all the farmers' houses near the 
town, had land belonging to them all enclosed, which said houses and 
land were called glebe. 

Quickly followed the Survey made June 2Sth, 1650, on the order 
of Parliament for inquiring into all ecclesiastical estates in the countr)'. 
The return for Blackburn Parish is abbreviated below : — 

Blackburn Hundreth. — An Inquisition indented, taken at Blackbume, in 
the Countye of Lancaster, the 25 Day of June, 1650, before Richard Shuttleworth, 
John Starliie, Peeter Bould, Thomas Whittington, George Johnson, John Savvrey, 
Jeremiah Aspinwell, Geoi^e Piggott, and William West, Esquires. By virtue of a 
Commission under the Create Seale of England, dated the 29th of Marcli, 1650, to 
them and others directed, for the inquiringe of and certifying the certain number and 
true yearely value of all parsonages and vicaridges presentative, and of all and every 
the spirittuall and Ecclesiastical liveinges and benefices and donatives within the said 
County, by the oathes of John Harwood, William Chevi', Richard Osbaldeston, 
William Walmisley, James Whalley, Ed ward Lowed, William Ward, John Aspden, 
John Dewhurst, Robert Radclifife, Rich ard Dewhurst, John Dewhurst, junior, Richard 
Ainsworth, Jeremy Wood, and Edward Boulton, good and lawfull men of the parishes 
of Blackbume and Whalley, in the said Countye, whoe upon their oathes present and 
saye that the Parishe of Blackbume, within the Hundred of Blackbume, doth containe 
one parishe church, vizt. Blackbume, a vicaridge presentative by the late Archbishop 
of Canterbury, the impropriator Mistress Marriane Fleetwood, famier of the tythes by 
a demise on lease made by the said Bishopp yetf in beinge ; besides there is a demesne 
called Haudly, yett in lease under the said Bishopp to the said Mrs. Fleetwood for the 
terme of eight years or thereabouts, and by her demised att eighty pounds per ann., 
and alsoe an ould rent of thirty-five poundes fourteene shillings per ann., besides fines 
of tenements and one water come milne of the yearly value of [ ]. All which are 
in lease under the said bishopp with the said Mrs. Fleetwood for the tenure aforesaid. 
And the said Mrs. Fleetwood hath tyth within the chappellry of Lawe, in the parishe 
aforesaid, worth per ann. £ll<); and £(,2 per ann. for glebe land; and in Nether 
Darwen £2^ per ann. ; and in Plesington £1^ los. per ann. ; and in Whitton ;^8 
per ann. ; and in Mellor-cum-Eccleshill pf 30 per ann. ; and in Harwood Parva ;^I0 
per ann. ; and in Samlisbury ^^30 per ann. ; besyde three acres and a halfe of glebe 
land att 7s. 3d. rent per ann. ; and in Clayton in le Dale, Salisbury, Wilpshire-cum- 
Dinckley, and Billington, theire tythes worth ;^72perann. ; and in Tockholes ;f 13 
6s. 8d. per ann.; and in Overdarwen ;^30 per ann.; and in Blackbume ^60 per ann.; 
and in Harwood Magna £^0 per ann. ; and in Rishton £t,$ per ann. ; and in Cuerdale 
/5 per ann.; and in Livesaye ;i£^20 per ann.; and in Osbaldeston and Balderston 
£lT, 13s. per ann.; besyde Vatebank and Piccopbank, part of the forest of Rossendall, 
but parcell of the rectorye of Blackbume, their tythes worth to the abovesaid farmer 
£$ per ann. And the said Jurors likewise saye that there is belonginge to the said 


[vicarage] a viccaridge house, and thirtye acres of land worth per ann. £20 to the 
present minister at Blackbume; besydes there is other auntiente tenements which 
prescribe to pay a rent of £,2 i6s. rod. per ann. to the said Viccar (all which the said 
viccar receyveth for his sallary), besydes £,-2(> 13s. 4d. per ann. which he receaveth 
from the said Mrs.' Fleetwood, and alsoe that hee hath an augmentation of ^^50 per 
ann. from the Committee of Plundered Ministers, but as yett hath receaved noe benefitt 
thereof. And the said Jurors further saye that the said parishe dothe contain within 
itselfe nyneteene townshipps, which are distant from their parish church as is here 
expressed, vizt. Blackbume, in which the parish is situated ; Nether Darwen, two 
myles ; Over Darwen, four myles ; Livesey-cum-Tockholes, four myles ; Plesington, 
three myles ; Witton, one myle and a halfe ; Samlisbury, six myles ; Osbaldeston, 
five myles ; Balderston, five myles ; Walton in le Dale, nyne myles ; Cuerdale, eight 
myles ; Mellor-cum-Eccleshill, four myles ; Whilpshire-cum-Dinckley, four myles ; 
Clayton in le Dale, four myles ; Billington, five myles ; Harwood Magna, four myles ; 
Harwood Parva, one myle and a quarter ; Rishton, three myles ; and Salisbury, four 
myles. The jurors also saye that there are in the parish seven chapels : Law 
[Walton] ; Samlisbury ; Langoe ; Tockholes ; Over Darwen ; Balderston ; and Harwood 
[see Chapelries]. 

On the restoration of Episcopacy in 1660, Dr. John Juxon was 
made Primate ; and by deed dated February loth, 14th Charles II. 
(1662), his Grace gave a sum of £^']q per annum out of the issues of 
the Rectory for the increase of the Vicarial benefice of Blackburn. The 
charge was added to the rental of the estate paid by the lessee on a 
renewal of the lease in 1661 ; but the lessee, Mistress Mariane Fleet- 
wood, did not fail to transfer this extra payment to her under-tenants, 
in the shape of increased rents, whereat the latter made bitter complaint 
to the Primate, in these terms : — 

Upon the renewal of the Lease of the Rectory of Blackbume with Archbishop 
Juxon, immediately after his Majestie's Restauration, his Grace was pleased to grant 
an augmentation of ;f 70 per annum to the Vicar of Blackbume and his successors, to 
be payd by the farmer of the Rectory, who not long after likewise renewed the Leases 
to the under Tenants, advancing every one of them both in fine and rent over and 
above their former payments, to their great impoverishment and severe usage, the 
officers and agents of the farmer alleging (supposed to be by their master's directions) 
that his Grace had imposed the annual payment of £10 to the Vicar over and above 
the Reserved Rent formerly payd, without any consideration to the farmer, or defalca- 
tion of fine in renewing his lease, and therefore were constrained to reimburse their 
master by advanceing the Tenants' fines and Annuall Reserved Rents lo equal the 
sayd summe o{£'jo augmentation to the Vicar. The agents and officers of the farmers, 
from time to time have affirmed and reported the contents above-written for a certain 
truth. The present agent, Mr. Ogle, still continuing to affirm the same, with the 
greatest confidence imaginable, to the great grief of the under-tenants, and greater 
dishonour of the present Archbishop and his predecessors. — (Signed) — Tenants: — 
Joseph Sharpies, Thurstan Maudsley, Richard Hilton, Henry Maudsley, Adam Raby, 
Richard Gelibrand, Ben. Lawe, Edward Smith, Robert Peele, John Yates, Thurstan 
ffogge, James Cowper, William Yates, William Haworth. — We whose hands are 
subscribed, not being tenants to the said farmer, do some of us know and others 
believe the contents above-written to be true : — Thomas Clayton, Giles Clayton, 


George Rishton, Thomas Walmsley, Thomas Sharpies, Evan Wilkinson, James 
Brindle, William Pickering, Ric. Haworth, James Crosse, Jacob Edge. 

The Coucher Book of the Parish Church of Blackburn contains an 
abstract of a lease obtained by Cordelia Fleetwood, in the year 1676. 
The terms of this lease were, an annual rent of ^^139 2s. 2d. paid direct 
to the Rector, and £^o on his account to the Vicar of Blackburn ; the 
total rental of the Rectory Glebe was thus at that date ^^209 2s. 2d. 
per annum : — 

Memorandum of Lease of Rectory to Cordelia ffleetwood. — A Lease 
granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Cordelia ffleetwood. Dated 24th Dec. , 
1676, of all that the Rectory or Parsonage of Blackburn in Com. Lane, with the 
Chappells of Law and Samlesbury to the same parsonage belonging, with all houses, 
buildings, lands, tenements, Glebe Lands, Tythes of Com and Hay, Oblations, 
Obventions, Privy Tythes, and all and every other tythes, profitts, comoditys, advan- 
tages, emoluments, and appurtenances whatsoever, &c. To have for 21 years from the 
makeing. Rent yearly £iy) 2s. 2d. att the Annunciation and Michaels by equall 
portions. Rent also on the days aforesaid £^o to be paid by the said Archbishop and 
his successors yearly to the Vicar for the tyme being, &c. , in pursuance of the King's 
Majesty's directions for Augmentations, &c. And that the said Cordelia F., &c., 
shall repaire, &c., the chancell of the Church of Blackburn, and also the Mansion 
House called Haldley, in Blackburn, and all bams and other edifices thereunto 
belonging. And the said Cordelia F., for herself, exors, &c., doth covenant, &c., by 
and with the Vicar of the Parish Church of Blackburn for the tyme being, att all 
tymes, &c., peaceably and quietly to receive, take and enjoy to his and their own use 
and behoof all and every the church duties of marriages, christenings, and burialls, 
without any account to be made or given for the same. 


Some account may here be inserted of an important augmentation 
made to the endowments of the parish chapelries through the bounty of 
Archbishop Sancroft. William Sancroft was consecrated Primate in the 
year 1678 as successor to Sheldon. Sancroft found that the livings of 
the chapels-of-ease under this Parish Church were lamentably small. 
Not one of the chapelries possessed the advantage of weekly Christian 
worship. The zealous Primate therefore felt himself called upon to do 
somewhat towards placing the affairs of the Church upon a better basis 
in a parish from which he drew a certain yearly revenue as Rector. He 
decided to make a substantial gift to each of the chapels. First, 
however, the Archbishop required a correct statement of the nature and 
extent of the existing endowments, the arrangements for serving the 
chapels, and the disposition of the inhabitants to assist in the work of 
augmenting the stipends of the curates. At the Rector's request, the 
Vicar procured from the wardens of the several chapels the necessary 
details upon these points, and for^varded them to Lambeth. There 


were seven chapels, of which Balderstone was in ruins, and out of use. 
Of the six remaining chapels, three, Walton, Samlesbury, and Hanvood, 
were esteemed to be parochial, and got a small allowance from the Vicar 
of the parish. In the other four chapels none had been permitted to 
administer the sacraments, marry, or bury. The curates had been 
always maintained by the bounty of those that resorted thither, without 
charge to the Rector or Vicar. It was further represented that " the 
Vicar of Blackbume aforesaid allows to the curates of all the chapells 
above-named all the church dues belonging to the said vicar, besides 
the above-mentioned ;£8 to Law and Samlesbury, though none of the 
aforesaid chapells do by the Records at Chester appear to be parochiall, 
but chapels of ease." 

The Rev. Francis Price was at this time Vicar of the Parish, and 
in addition to the accounts he gave to the Rector which have been 
mentioned, sometime in the earlier part of the year 1684, Vicar 
Price wrote to the effect that : — " The Vicar of Blackburn will freely 
oblige himselfe to pay p^4 yearly to Law Church and ^£4 to Samles- 
bury ; to remitt the dues for marrying, &c., in the 4 chapells of ease, 
about ;£s i°s. or sometymes ;£'4 per annum, and to permitt them to 
sever themselves from the mother Church, and become parochiall." As 
to the disposition of the parishioners to be united, Mr. Price said : — 
" The Inhabitants of each Chapelry are not willing to be united to any 
other, though they may better consider of it hereafter." As to Easter 
Dues: — "Easter Dues are commonly one year with another ^25 or 
;^2 6 per annum. Piggs, geese, &c., as is already given in by Mr. 
Halsted in the accounts." The under-tenants of the Rectory lands in 
Blackburn were reported to the Archbishop by the Vicar as in a condition 
of abject poverty : — "Most of the under-tenants are miserably poore, 
and the houseing out of repaire, and are distinguished and taken notice 
of to be Mrs. ffleetwood's tenants from other landlord's houses. If any 
of her tenants now build, the new houses are often taken from them 
upon the expiration of their leases, and some before. The last renewing 
of their leases, the tenant was raised trible in his reserved rent, and 
double in his fine, the ffarmer pretending that an augmentation of jf 70 
was given to the Vicar, and no allowance made for it, and therefore 
the tenants must advance that summe." Soon after the receipt of the 
Vicar's missive, John Tillison, Esq., the Primate's Comptroller, was 
sent down to Blackburn to advance the business. 

Mr. Tillison found that down in the Parish of Blackburn the good 
intent of his right reverend master was being " evil spoken of," and 
having communicated the current slander to the Archbishojf, received 
the following letter from Sancroft : — 


Mr. ComtroUer, — To doe well and even for soe doinge to Be evill spoken of, is 
many times in this world the portion of well-meaninge men. That a suit conceminge 
Tyth Hay is commenced or threatened by my particular directions (or by any direction 
at all from me) is a great and foule slander upon mee, whoever is the author (of which, 
I pray, informe yourself particularly). But that I intend an augmentation of the 
chapelries to be had out of the purses of the inhabitants is a most malliciouse and 
unmannerly calumny. God Almighty knows (and better than any man, but my selfe, 
you know) that what I should receive upon the renewinge of this lease I intended 
should bee bestowed for the good (the spiritual good) and wellfaire of those inhabitants, 
and when their heats are over, and their eyes a little cl ear'd to look upon things as 
they are, I hope they will forgive me this wrong. They may consider, if they please, 
that wise men will never throw away an opportunity of doeinge themselves good which 
(for ought they know) will never retume. And sure I am they cannot bee certaine, 
that the next Archbishop will frankly and unaskt throw a thousand marks into their 
laps, to be expended entirely for the good of their souls. And that I am prepared and 
resolved to doe this for them (if they be so jealous and ill-natured as not to believe my 
words) they may, if they will, soone bring mee to a Reall test, and shame me, if I 
faile in performance of what I here solemnly declare. But all this under the privitie 
of my former and most express proviso, — that if they expect I should doe for them 
what I am noe waies obliged to, they should doe something also for themselves, for 
both God and man justly abandon those that will not helpe themselves when they may. 
Had I design'd my owne worldly advantage, I might have spar'd myselfe and you a 
great deal of care and trouble, and concluded the matter with my tenant without noise 
and long since have taken the money into my Pockett. But (I thanke God) my 
charitie to them showed me a more excellent way. And though I am not by them 
handsomely rewarded for it, yet I know Who it is that accepts intentions and 
endeavours (if they be reall and sincere) and writes them up in His booke of accompt 
as actuall performances. But though I can thus satisfy and comfort myselfe, yet I am 
infinitely unwilling to give over a design in which God may have some glory and men 
some benefitt, because of a frowardnesse or peevishnesse of those I have to deal with 
about it There are a sort of men to whom we must do good whether they will or 
not, and therefore I will give them time to bethinke themselves by houldeinge to the 
ressoUution I have constantly declared to the Lord Cheney never to Renew the Lease 
unless it may bee to the advantage of those unendowed chappellries. As for my 
unwillingness to interpose between my tenant and the under-tenants, which I perceive 
hath further exposed me to the scourge of tongues, I think I had noe reason to doe it 
till I was perfectly assured of the true state of the case, which was one occasion of your 
journey, and accordingly given you in chaise by me ; and if before your retume I find 
there is just cause of complaint, I conceive it not seasonable for mee to medle with it 
till I and my tenant goe about the renewinge of the Lease in good earnest, which will 
not be till the Chappells be in some measure provided for. God Almighty, who hath 
put into our mind some good desires, so enable us, if it be His will, to bring the same 
to good effect, the hearty daily prayer of — Your very ob. friend W. Cant. 

Lamb. H., July 5th, 1684. — For my Lo. friend, Mr. John Tillison. — Leave this 
at the Post House in Preston, Lancashire. 

It is evident from the allusions in the letter that the cause of the 
local distrust of the projected increase of the parochial chapel endow- 
ments was the exacting treatment of their tenants by the lessees of the 
Rectory glebe. After this the Primate proceeded with the necessary 


formalities for the execution of his intention, and in the Spring of 1685 
notified Mr. Price, the Vicar, that he "had prepared a declaration of 
trust for the receipt of one thousand marks [;^666 13s. 4d.] to be applied 
towards the maintenance of the Chapels in Blackbumshire, according to 
the directions of a settlement intended." 

On the 24th of March, 1687-8, Sancroft communicated to Vicar 
Price an outline of the legal arrangements his Grace had made for the 
completion of the long-pending business. Appended is a copy of the 
Archbishop's epistle : — 

Sir, — It is more than time that we should finish what we have begun some while 
since, and finally settle the little provision I have made towards the endowment of the 
poor chappellries within your Vicarage. But whenever I have gone about it I have 
found that I could not ftiUy satisfy myself in it, without advising with you about the 
manner of the settlement, and the particular allotments and proportions in which 'tis 
to be done, and such other circumstances, in which I would not willingly be mistaken ; 
for the next Act I doe about it will be for perpetuity, and put it quite out of my hands. 
A commerce by Letter for debate of these things would be slow and troublesome ; and 
more might be done with you and I together one day, than in a Month's intercourse 
the other way. This is therefore in the first place heartily to thank you for the great 
care and diligence you have us'd hitherto in this Affair ; and in the next place earnestly 
to desire you not to be weary of well-doing, but as soon as the approaching great 
Festival is past, to come up hither to me. I have long had this in my mind, as having 
a great desire to see you. But the Winter was not a proper season for so long a journey. 
It will now be pleasant travelling ; and London, methinks, should be worth the seeing 
(especially being so improved and beautified, as it is) once in 20 years. But whatever 
other Invitations may draw you hither, you are to remember that you came about my 
business, and therefore that I must, and will, defray the whole expense of your journey. 
Wherefore taking it for granted, that you will come, I desire you to bring with you the 
Names of 4 or 5 persons more, fitt to be joined with you in the Trust, for the lawyers 
advise me, that if I settle it that way, it should not be fewer than seven, because of 
death and frequent change. Bring also the best directions you can (both of your own, 
and of your colleagues), in whom, and in what proportion it shall be placed, which 
together with such particulars as I have received before, will guide me to a final Reso- 
lution herein. But now that estate being in you 3, and you having by your Declaration 
of Trust covenanted to convey it as I should direct ; I have caused a good Lawyer 
here to draw such a Conveyance, which you are to get ingrost there, and seal'd, and 
executed, and to bring it with you, in exchange for which you shall receive my last, 
and final Settlement. I have written it [the accompanying Draft of Conveyance] in my . 
close hand, and with such abbreviations as you will know easily how to decipher, and 
transcribe, and so deliver it to be ingrost, for the ease and conveniency of carriage. 
Till I see you, I think nothing else needful to be added, but to wish you a prosperous 
journey ; and to desire you very kindly to salute Mr. Bradyl and Mr. Osbaldeston, my 
good Friends, in the Name of, — Your very affectionate Friend, W. Cant. 

Lambh. H., Mar. 24th, 1687. 

The final proceedings in connection with the Sancroft Trust were 
taken in the Spring of 1688. The following Agreement between Arch- 



bishop Sancroft and Vicar Price is the last of the original documents 
concerning the donation among the Vicarial MSS. : — 

By Indenture dated 26th May, 4th of James II. [1688], between Archbishop 
William and Vicar Price. — Whereas the Curates of the several Chapelries of Law 
Church, Samlesbury Church, Harwood Church, Langho Chapel, Darwen Chapel, 
Tockholes Chapel, and Balderstone Chapel, have not sufficient maintenance for their 
subsistence respectively, and whereas the said William, Archbishop, &c., with a pious 
intent to provide and settle an augmentation of maintenance upon the said Curates 
respectively, or some of them, in manner hereinafter expressed, hath purchased the 
several messuages, lands, &c., and by good conveyances in law the same are conveyed 
unto the said Archbishop and his successors for ever. And it is hereby declared and 
agreed by the said parties, that the said purchase and conveyance are only upon trust, 
that the said Archbishop and his successors should without fine demise and lease the 
same unto the said Francis Price in the manner and fonn set forth. And further that 
the said Archbishop and his successors for ever shall hold the freehold and inheritance 
of the said premises in trust and confidence to lease and demise the same in manner 
aforesaid, and accordingly leases the same unto the said Francis Price for the term of 
21 years, if the said Francis Price so long continue true and lawful incumbent, upon 
trust that he the said Francis Price shall from time to time manage, set, and let the 
premises, and also receive the rents, issues, and profits of the said premises, and shall 
pay the same, so received, unto and amongst the curates for the time being of the said 
several Chapelries of Law Church, Samlesbury Church, Harwood Church, Langho 
Chapel, Darwen Chapel, Tockholes Chapel and Balderstone Chapel, or some of 
them, for the time being, annually or half-yearly upon the Feasts of the Nativity of 
our Blessed Lord and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or one of them, 
unto such of the said curates, and in such shares and proportions as the said Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury shall from time to time direct and appoint, and for default of 
such appointment then in such shares and proportions as to the said Francis Price and 
his successors. Vicars of Blackburn, from time to time seem most just and expedient, 
with regard as well to the merits as to the necessities of the said several curates 
respectively. And it shall be lawful for the said Francis Price to deduct and defalk 
cut of the yearly rents, yearly, the sum of 40s. to his own proper use in satisfaction 
for his pains and trouble in the execution of the trust aforesaid, and also all other sums 
of money by him necessarily expended for the charges of the said management, and 
the said Francis Price shall upon the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord yearly during 
the said term, and also within six months after the expiration thereof, make a full and 
perfect account of all the receipts, payments, and transactions whatsoever relating to 
the said trust, for each and every year, and deliver the said accounts unto the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury for the time being, without any falsity, omission, protraction, or 
delay. In witness whereof the parties above-named have interchangeably set their 
hands and seals, the day and year first above written. ' 

I The Thomley estate, purchased by Archbishop Sancroft as a benefaction to the chapels of 
Blackburn parish, consists of lands in the township of Thomley-cum-Wheatley, in the parish of Chip- 
ping. These lands are leased by the Rector to the Vicar for the time being, who relets them to the 
tenant farmers. The estate was originally in one farm-holding, but for more than a century has been 
divided into two farms. The following list of successive leases will show the rental-value of these 
lands at different periods. The Rhodes family have farmed part of this land for more tlian a century 
and a half: — 1707. Lease granted by Vicar Holme to Wm. Rhodes — Rental .£32. 1726. Lease by 
Vicar Holme to Wm. and James Rhodes, ;^35 per annum for nineteen years. 1746. Lease granted 
by Vicar WoUin to Wm. and James Rhodes, ;^38 los. per annum. 1767. Leases from Vicar Wollin 


This Indenture bears date the 4th of May, 1688, and it is worthy 
of remark that at the very time the negociation for the improvement of 
the church Hvings in this remote Lancashire parish was being brought 
to an issue, the prime mover therein, the venerable Sancroft, was engaged 
in a memorable constitutional struggle with the Crown. On the 2 7th 
of April, 1688, King James the Second had followed up his Declaration 
of the previous year by a second Declaration of Indulgence to Roman 
Catholics and Dissenters. This second Declaration, by an Order dated 
May 4th, of the same year, was commanded to be read in all Churches 
of England on two successive Sundays, and the Bishops were bidden to 
disseminate the Declaration among their clergy for that purpose. Arch- 
bishop Sancroft and six of the Bishops met and resolved to disobey the 
Royal order. It was on the 12th of May, 1688, eight days after the 
date of the Indenture completing Sancroft's benefaction to Blackburn 
Parish, that the Bishops and others who opposed the arbitrary conduct 
of James II. met at the Primate's palace at Lambeth. The sittings 
were continued until the i8th of May, on which day a petition to the 
King, written by Sancroft himself, declining to distribute the Declaration 
of Indulgence, was adopted by the conclave, and was presented to the 
King, who in a rage pronounced it to be " a standard of rebellion." 
Nevertheless, the seven prelates persisted in their refusal, and were 
sustained by many of the clergy of London. On the 8th of June, the 
seven Bishops were cited before the King in Council, and on their 
continued recalcitrancy were committed to the Tower. This procedure 
by the King forced on the political crisis that had long been impending. 
The question soon became a national one, and in a few weeks the 
revolutionary movement in favour of the Prince of Orange was in full 
sweep. Singularly, Archbishop Sancroft, though one of the foremost 
actors in the events that led to the deposition of James II. and the 
advent of William of Orange, was afterwards among the prelates known 
as "non-jurors," on account of their refusal to take the oath of alle- 
giance to William and Mary. For this, Sancroft (with five bishops) was 
deprived in February, 1690, and ejected from Lambeth in 1691 ; Thomas 
Tillotson being consecrated Archbishop on Whitsunday of that year. 
His deprivation so embittered the mind of Sancroft that he became, in 
his last days, a passionate assailant of the Church of England. He 

to Robert Rhodes, at a rental of jf 29 los. 6d. per annum for 21 years ; and to John White, at a rental 
of £ig 19s. 6d. per annum for 21 years. 1783. Leases from Vicar Starkie to Robert Rhodes, at a 
rental of £38 ; and to John White, at a rental of ;C24 per annum ; total rental of the estates, ;C62. 
1807. Leases from Vicar Starkie to Isaac Rhodes at a rental of £5^ per annum ; and to James White, 
at a rental of £36 per annum ; — total rental ;^88. 1814. Leases from Vicar Starkie to Isaac Rhodes, 
at a rental of jC&s P^^ annum ; and to William Woods, at a rental of £60 per annum ; total rental in 
1814. £145. 


lived some years after his ejection on his estate at Fressingfield, Co. 

A subsequent benefaction out of the Rectory property to the "poor 
curates " of Blackburn Parish, amounting to the sum of ;;f 14 per annum, 
was renewed by Archbishop Tenison in 1706. This was obtained 
through the undertaking of Mrs. Sarah Fleetwood, on her receipt of a 
lease of the Rectory Glebe, in 1689, to pay that additional sum of ;^i4 
annually. Below is cited the legal instrument investing the Vicar for 
the time being with power to receive, as trustee for the recipients, 
the curates of the seven chapels : — 

Know all men by these presents that we, Thomas, by Divine Providence Lord 
Archbishop of Canterbury, have and do hereby constitute, nominate, and appoint our 
well-beloved John Holme, Clark and Vicar of the Parish Church of Blackbome, in 
the County of Lancaster, our true and lawfuU Attorney for Us and in our Name to ask, 
demand, and receive the full and just sum of Fourteen Pounds per annum, on the 
Feasts of St. Michaell the Archangell and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, by even and equal portions, of and from our now Lessee, Mrs. Sarah Fleet- 
woode, Widdow, being Farmeress by Lease from us of the Impropriate Rectory of 
Blackbome aforesaid, and of her Executors and Assigns. Which said Fourteen 
Pounds was a new augmentation made and confirmed in the year of our Lord 1688-9 
by Mrs. Cordelia Fleetwoode, then the Farmeress of the Rectory aforesaid, and she 
confirmed it by givin g a covenant in her said Lease in pure charity for the use and 
benefitt of the poor curates of the severall chappells belonging to the said Vicarage of 
Blackbome. And also giving and granting to my said Attorney upon the receipt of 
the said sums, full power and authority to dispose of them to those curates in such 
proportions as Mr. Francis Price, late Vicar of Blackbome, did pay the same. Or 
according as he, my said Attorney, shall in his owne judgment think fitt and reason- 
able, with regard to the deserts and merits of the said curates. Provided always that 
my said Attorney shall at the end of every year give an account to us or oure successors 
in writing how he has disposed of the said Fourteen Pounds, that he may receive from 
us or them directions for the future payment of it to the said curates. — Given at our 
Palace at Lambeth, the seventh day of May, A. D. 1 706, and in the Fifth Year of the 
Reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Anne, &c. — Tho. [Seal] Cantuar. — Signed 
and sealed in the presence of Lem. Bradley, Will. Lovejoy. 

The Feildens succeeded the Fleetwoods as lessees of the Rectory 
Glebe, and in 1758 Joseph Feilden is named in one of the Vicar's 
receipts as "one of the farmers of the Rectory of Blackburn." Successive 
leases of these lands were granted to Henry Feilden, son of Joseph, 
and to his son, the late Joseph Feilden, Esq. A large portion of the 
Rectory Glebe was sold in the last century to Henry and Johil Feilden. 
In 1853, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners assumed control of the 
Rectorial estates. The lands in Blackburn vested in the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners comprised two separate estates, known as the Audley 
and Brookhouse estates. In 1856 the Audley Estate consisted of the 
following tenancies : — Audley Hall Farm, of 184 acres and 25 perches ; 


Audley Higher Bam, of 34 acres and 24 perches ; Fish Field and Five 
Acres, of 18 acres, 2 roods, 39 perches; Great and Little Maudsley, of 

15 acres, 2 roods, 3 perches; Long Meadow, i acre, 33 perches; New 
Hey and Little Meadow, 3 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches; Nearer and 
Further Dam Hey (Cicely Hole), 6 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches ; 
Smalding's Farm, 24 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches ; Snape Fields and 
Higher Walks, 7 acres i rood, rg perches; Three Lawnds, 16 acres, 
2 roods, 9 perches ; Town Green, 3 acres, 2 roods, 28 perches ; 
occupation road from Grimshaw Park to Smalding's Cottage, 2 roods, 

16 perches. The total extent of Audley Estate, the remnant of the 
ancient Rectorial demesne, is 317 acres, i rood, 11 perches. Since 
1856, some plots of the estate have been sold; and the residue has 
been laid out and leased for building purposes. Since its enfranchise- 
ment, a new town has risen upon the estate, and its rental value has 
increased incalculably. The Brookhouse Estate is situate on the north 
side of the Blakewater at Brookhouse, and extends to the farm of 
Lower Ousebooth in one direction and to the Hole i'th Wall, Shire 
Brow, in another. It consisted, in 1856, of two tenancies, of a total 
area of 78 acres, i rood, 23 perches. The estate has since been further 
curtailed by the sale of considerable parcels to Mr. Hornby and Mr. 
Ward. The aggregate annual revenue of all the Rectory property in 
lands, leases, and ground rents must now amount to many thousands of 

The mansion of the Rectory was the Hall of Hauldley or Hawdley, 
now spelled Audley, standing in a hollow near a srriall rivulet between 
the hill of Higher Audley and Whinny Heights, on the south-east side 
of the town. In 16 16, the old Hall at Audley is described as being 
built of stone, timber, and brick ; situate half a mile from the town, 
and surrounded by lands known as Haudley Demesne, containing by 
measurement 143 acres and 10 perches. Before the appropriation of 
the Rectory, and under the control of the Abbots of Whalley, a Sister- 
hood of Benedictine Nuns is said by Whittle' to have been housed in 
Audley Hall ; but I have met with no memorials of the existence of 
such a sisterhood. Audley Hall is now, although partially inhabited 
by the farmer, in a state of utter dilapidation. Most of the buildings 
have fallen or been taken down, and in what still stands every feature 
of architecture has been effaced. There are remains of large mullioned 
and transomed windows in the north-western end of the building. The 
external walls are of stone and brick intermixed. Anciently the house 
is said to have been approached by an avenue of trees, but the land 
about is now bare of timber. 

1 Blackburn as it Is, p. 336. 



The history of the Vicarial benefice of Blackburn during its subjec- 
tion to Whalley Monastery is marked by few recorded events of moment. 
In the Abbey Chartulary, the names of two or three Vicars of Blackburn 
Church occur. John de Habyndon, Vicar before 1289, and William 
de Lenche, his successor, have before been mentioned. To Adam de 
Walboncke (Vicar next in order to William de Lenche), succeeded John 
de Gristhwayth, before the year 1333, when he, as Vicar of Blackburn 
Church, receives of William Russel of Magna Harwood his land situated 
within Snodworth field in Billington. The same Vicar acquired other 
lands in Billington in 1338; and, in 1340 Vicar Gristhwayth conveyed 
these lands to the Abbot and Monks of Whalley. This Vicar again, in 
1342, with John de Topclif, Vicar of Whalley, had possession of lands 
in Burnley from John de Brunley, which the two Vicars jointly conveyed 
to the Monastery in 1343. John de Gristhwayth occurs later as Vicar in 
1356, and he probably died about 1362. 

John de Lyndelay, instituted Vicar of Blackburn October 15th, 1362, 
was the learned and industrious fifth Abbot of Whalley, who transcribed 
into a Coucher Book all the title deeds of his Monastery. He died 
about 1378 and was succeeded as Vicar of Blackburn by William de 
Wetherby, whose vicariate probably extended from 1378 until 14 19. 

Galfridus [Geoffrey] Banastre, the next Vicar known, instituted Jime 
3rd, 6th Henry V. (1419), will again appear in this History as founder 
of a Chantry in Blackburn Church, in the year 1453. He died in 1457, 
and the next Vicar found is Robert Salley, a Monk of Whalley, who 
occurs in 1480, and died in 1489, when another Monk of the same 
family, Henry Salley, was instituted, December i6th, 1489. He had a 
lengthened tenure of the benefice ; for he is returned as Vicar in the 
Valor of 1534, forty-four years after his institution. If still alive in 1537, 
Vicar Henry Salley would suffer dispossession in the suppression of the 
Monastery to which he was attached in that year, the Vicar of Black- 
bum being implicated in the rebellious rising of Abbot Paslew by 
documents discovered in the Vicar's house. 

Ralph Lynney, installed as Vicar about 1537, is before described 
in 1534 as receiver of the Rectory of Blackburn. He was witness to 
the Will of John Talbot of Salesbury in 1552, and resigned upon a 
pension before 1554. His successor, James Hargreaves, presented 
by Philip and Mary, instituted October 24th, 1555, was deprived soon 
after the accession of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth for " papistry," 
and was yet in the district and reported for an obstinate recusant 
(Roman Catholic) in 1575. 


John Hylton, presented to the Vicarage March 20th, 1561, may be 
regarded as the first Protestant Vicar of Blackburn Church. Vicar 
Hylton was in 1567 nominated a first Governor of Blackburn Grammar 
School by the Charter of Queen Elizabeth. By him the Vicarage House 
was probably re-edified about 1579. This Vicar resigned in 1580, and 
died in 1582. The Will of John Hulton, clerk, late Vicar of Blackburn, 
is dated May 15th, 24th Eliz. (1582). Testator desires to be buried in 
the churchyard of Blackburn. 

Edward Welche was instituted to the Vicarage October ist, 1580, 
and held the benefice until 1606, when he was deprived for his refusal 
to wear the surplice, and retired to a small property called Walsh Fold, 
in Over Darwen, where he died in 1627. He had a son Thomas Welche, 
Parish Clerk of Blackburn, who had a son Edward, bom in 1625. 

John Morres, instituted February 23rd, 1606, by the Primate, was 
next Vicar. It was he to whom, as Vicar, in 161 8, a portion of Waste 
land in the township was allotted on account of his Glebe. " Mr. John 
Morres, Vicar," was buried at Blackburn Church, May 23rd, 1628. 

Adam Bolton, instituted June 20th, 1628, was a native of Black- 
bum, and has been noticed in the sketch of his family (Bolton of 
Brookhouse). Vicar Bolton was regularly appointed by Archbishop 
Abbot; but on the establishment of the Presbytery in 1646, he retained 
the Vicarage and accepted nomination on the third classis of the 
Lancashire Presbytery. He died towards the end of 1646. 

Leonard Clayton was chosen Vicar by the process of popular elec- 
tion in 1647, during the Civil War distraction. In the Parish Register 
is entered : — "On Sunday, the 4th of July, 1647, Mr. Leonard Clayton, 
Mr. of Artes of St. Mary Hall in Oxford, tooke possession of the 
Vicaridge of Blackbume. The said Leo: Clayton is sone of Gyles 
Clayton of Little Hanvoode." This Vicar has made also an entry in 
the Register opposite the record of his o^vn baptism as follows : — 
"Leonard sonne of Gyles Clayton," bapt. May 26th, 1616. [Added] — 
" Of Little Harwood, now Vicar of this Church. The said Leonard 
Clayton was inducted into the Vicaridge of Blackbume, in the year 1647, 
and was allso presented and inducted into the Parsonage of Stockport, 
in Cheshier, in the yeare 1674, and is yet possessor of both this present 
yeare 1676." Upon an application for an increase to this benefice, 
made to the Committee of Plundered Ministers in 1649, the order is 
recorded upon the Minutes of that Committee in these terms : — "Black- 
burn. Of large extent, and 4000 Communicants, and that in regard of the 
greatness of the charge, the smallness of the means there, and the vicarage 
thereof being worth but jT^io a year, no minister would accept thereof. 
;^5o a year to be paid to Mr. Leonard Clayton, present minister, to be 


taken out of the Rectory of Bolton."' The record mentions a sum of ;^75 
6s. 8d. set apart by the late Bishop of Chester for this vicarage. The 
Committee appointed by Parliament for Sale of Bishops' Lands surveyed 
the Rectory and Vicarage of Blackburn the same year (1649), a^nd as to 
the Vicarage the surveyors reported : — 

Mr. Leonard Clayton, the present Vicar of Blackbome, is an able and paynefuU 
Divine, approved of by the Assembly of Divines, and placed there by the Committee 
of Plundered Ministers, who have ordered him an augmentation of Fifty Pounds per 
annum out of the Rectory of Boulton in Lonsdale, in the County of Lancaster, 
sequestered from Sir Henry Compton, Knight of the Bath, Lessee under the late 
Bishop of Chester for three lives, and upon the said Sir Henry's composition the 
Councill at Goldsmith's Hall bought his terme then to come in the said Rectory. The 
Vicar's Glebe of antient enclosure in Blackbome lies near the Town, and is accompted 
to be 50 acres, besides 20 acres of new enclosure at Blakenmore and Refidge Moor. 
The antient enclosure hath two houses and a bam upon it in the field. The Vicar's 
best old glebe, per annum, ;^20 ; the Vicar's antient rough ground by the demesne, 
per annum, ;^io ; New enclosures of 20 acres, per annum, j£^. [Then follow the 
allowance out of the Bishop's Rent Dues, &c. ] There are also certain houses that are 
parcel of the Glebe belonging to the Vicaridge of Blackbome, in the occupation of 
the several Tenants hereunder mentioned : —John Sharpies holdeth one house with 
appurtenances, and payeth rent per annum 6s. 8d. ; but it is worth upon rack £4. 
John Marsden holdeth two houses with appurtenances, and payeth rent 4s. ; is worth 
upon rack £6 ; Thomas Welch, clerk, holdeth one house, and payeth rent 2s. , worth 
upon rack ^2 ; Jane Morris holdeth one fair house by the School, and payeth rent 
IS. 8d., worth upon rack £1 13s. 4d. ; George Shaw holdeth a good house by it, and 
payeth rent is.; Alice Edge, widow, at Toalbridge End, holdeth one croft, and 
payeth rent 2s. 6d. ; Richard Pomfret holdeth one house, and payeth rent 3d. ; Robert 
Ashton holdeth one house, and payeth rent 5d.; George Simpson holdeth one 
house, and payeth rent 4d. ; John Cowper holdeth one house, and payeth rent 2d. ; 
Widow Cunliffe holdeth one house, and payeth rent 6d. ; Robert CoUinson holdeth 
one house, and payeth rent 4d. ; Nathaniel Feilden holdeth one house, and payeth 
rent 6d. ; Maria, wife of Peter Lodge, holdeth one house, and payeth is., worth 
rack^i 13s. 4d.; Nathaniel Feilden holdeth one house, and payeth rent 4d.; William 
Hayhurst holdeth one messuage, and payeth rent 6d. ; Thomas Verwi holdeth one 
house, and payeth rent6d. ; John Jackson holdeth one house, and payeth rent Is.; 
Thomas Astley holdeth one house, and payeth rent 5s. ; John Siddall holdeth one 
house, and payeth rent 5s. ; Richard Siddall holdeth one house, and payeth rent 7s. ; 
Christopher Duckworth holdeth one house, and payeth rent 5s. ; Lawrence Whalley 
holdeth one house, and payeth rent 2s. ; John Astley holdeth one house, and payeth 
rent 3s.; Edward Walmesley holdeth one house, and payeth rent 6d. Total of 
present rent, £2 17s. lod. All the last mentioned houses belonging to the Vicar, 
upon which we have set no improvement, we value every house to be worth per 
annum los., in total ^^9 los. 

A second order of the Committee of Plundered Ministers respecting 
this Vicarage, dated February 14th, 1650, describes Blackburn as a 
Parish containing a market town and ten villages, and a place of great 

I Plund. Ministers, Bodl. MSS., p. 169 ; extracted for this history by Mr. J. E. Bailey. 


resort, ^^o ordered for it from the "impropriate Rectory of Pulton in 
the ffeild, sequestered from Sir Thos. Tilsley, Delinquent," and out of the 
tithes of Melling " for the maintenance of a weekly lecture in the said 
Church of Blackburn;" and it is further ordered that Mr. "Michael 
Briscoe, a godly minister, be appointed to preach the said lecture."' 

Vicar Clayton had no difficulty in adapting himself to altered 
circumstances after the restoration of Prelacy in the Church of England. 
In 1660, the Parishioners are found humbly but hopefully petitioning 
the King to give the Vicar elected by the Parish in 1647 a legal title, 
with an augmentation of the living. The Petitioners were careful to 
profess penitence for past political errors, and to declare their revived 
attachment to the Stuart dynasty, a change of sentiment they attributed 
to the judicious preaching of their Vicar. The Petition is printed 
below : — 

To our dread soveraigne and mighty monarch Charles the Second, by the grace 
of God 0/ England, Scotland, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, &c. 
— The Petition of the Inhabitants of the Parishe of Blackbume, in the County of 
Lancaster. (.Subscribed August the 24th, 1660.) Humbly sheweth : — i. That the 
Inhabitants of the Parishe of Blackbume did, in the yeare of our Lord God one 
thousand six hundred ffortie and seaven, unanimously without the opposition of one 
man elect and chuse Mr. Leonard Clayton, Master of Arts of St. Marie Hall in 
Oxford, to be oure Vicar, the place being vacant by the death of the former incum- 
bent. 2. That the said Mr. Clayton, upon the signification of our election, procured 
an order for the place, from the Committee of Plundered Ministers, bearinge date May 
the 2lst, 1647, without which (as the tymes then were) he would not have staled with 
us or enjoyed the proffits of the place. 3. That the said Mr. Clayton is a man of able 
parts for the work of the ministerie, is verie industrious and paynfull in his callinge, 
and pious in his conversation, as also one that is faithffull, and hath testified good 
affection to your sacred Majestic, and hath contynewed to discharge his conscience, 
and to speak the truth boldly, whereby many of the Inhabitants of our Parish have 
been convinced of their former miscarriages in the late warres, for which they have 
begged pardon of the most high God, and now begge the like of your most sacred 
Majestic. 4. That the tythe and glebe of Blackbume Parishe is impropriate to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Vicaridge endowed with some Glebe Lands to the 
qaantitie of thirtie pounds per annum, as also 40 marks in money, due out of the 
parsonage, out of which 40 marks our said Vicar payeth (as also did his predecessors) 
the summe of eight pounds per annum to the ministers of two of our chappels in the 
said Parishe, there being also in the same parishe 5 other chappells which have no 
means at all appertaininge to them. 5. That the glebe and tythe of the impropriate 
Rectorie of Blackbume was farmed and leased out by the Bishop of Canterbury to Miss 
Mariana ffleetwood, which said lease expires in or about May next. — The premisses 
considered, your petitioners and liege people of the said parish humbly beseech your 
sacred Majestic to give our said minister, Mr. Clayton, a more legall title to the place, 
and likewise to grant him and his successors such an augmentation of revenues out of 
the proffitts of the Impropriate Rectorie as may make a competent and comfortable 

I Bodl. MSS., Plund. Ministers. Mr. Michael Briscoe was later minister of Walmsley Chapel, 
and a Nonconformist after 16612. 




subsistence, accordinge to his deserts and the greatness of the congregation. And this 
wee are the more engaged to begge of your royal Majestie because the said Mr. Clayton 
hath severall tymes had invitations to places of farr greater value, and yet hath refused 
them, being more willing to stay with us. And your petitioners doe yet further 
humbly desire that your Majestie, having settled a competency uppon our Parishe 
Church (where there is a great congregation, the towne being a market towne, and 
many villages adjacent verie populous, the inhabitants of all which resort to the same 
church), you would be pleased alsoe to take order that something out of the profiitts 
of the said Rectorie might be allowed to the severall chappells in the parishe, there 
beinge seven of them in number. And that it would likewise please your sacred 
Majestie to order that your said petitioners and faithfuU subjects, or some of the 
cheiffe of them in behalf of the rest, may be farmers of the tythes of our Parish, that 
soe they might not be leased out to strangers, wee beinge willinge to give for them a 
valuable consideration to the right owner of them. And your petitioners will ever 
pray, &c. [Signed by the following Inhabitants of the Parish.] 

Alexander Osbaldeston, 
John Clayton, 
John Harwood, 
Thurstan Maudsley, 
Edward Boulton, 
Richard Wilkinson, 
John Abbott, 
Lawrence Ainsworth, 
Thomas Gerston, 
Roger ffoster, 
Randle Cooke, 
William Browne, 
Robert Holden, 
William Haydock, 
Thomas Aspinall, 
James Whalley, 
Thomas ffishe, 
Edward Smalley, 
George Ainsworth, 
Ellis Edge, 
John Crosse, 
Thomas Whalley, 
Lawrence Ainsworth, 
Roger Gillibrand, 
Robert Dewhurst, 

Thomas Clayton, 
Lawrence Walmsley, 
John Gillibrand, 
William Sudall, 
Richard Lawe, 
Thomas Harwood, 
Henry Clayton, 
Thomas Pickeringe, 
John Peele, 
William Marsden, 
Walter Haworth, 
William Duhurst, 
William Ward, 
Ralph Lyvesey, 
James Walmesley, 
William Marsden, 
William Walmsley, 
R. Harwood, 
Michaell Harwood, 
John Edge, 
John Edge, 
Robert Osbaldeston, 
Thomas Abbott, 
John Clayton, 
Thomas Tomlinson, 

William Shorrock, 
John Sudall, 
Thomas Clayton, 
Myles Lawe, 
Lawrence Whalley, 
Richard Marsden, 
James Cunliffe, 
Richard Livesey, 
John Sharpies, 
James Whalley, 
Thomas Aspinall, 
Richard Dewhurst, 
Matthew Walkden, 
Thomas Cook, 
Oliver Whalley, 
Richard Ainsworth, 
Richard Isherwood, 
Thomas Cooke, 
Gyles Edge, 
William Pickeringe, 
Richard Ainsworth, 
John ffishe, 
John Baron, 
Edmund Calvert. 

Vicar Clayton himself petitioned the Primate some weeks later, 
as follows : — 

To the Right Reverend Father in God John, by Divine providence Lord Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury his Grace. The humble petition of Leonard Clayton, Minister 
of the Gospel], in Blackbume, in Lancashire, September 12th, 1660. Sheweth, — I. 
That the Vicaridge of Blackbume was endowed with some Lands to the value of Thirty 
Pounds, as also with forty markes in money due out of the Rectory of Blackbume, as 
appears by ap order bearing date May the 14th, A.D. 1277. 2. That the said Leonard 
Clayton was chosen by the inhabitants of the Parish of Blackbume to bee their minister, 


and thereupon had an order for the place from the Committee of Plundered Ministers, 
bearing date May the 21st, 1647. The place being vacant by the death of the former 
Incumbent. 3. That the Rectory of Blackburne is impropriate to the See of Canter- 
bury, and was leased out by the late Bishop of Canterbury to Mrs. Mariana ffleetwood, 
which said lease expires in or about May next. 4. That the said Leonard Clayton 
payeth to the minister of the parochiall chapell of Walton the yearly summe of 4 
pounds, as allso the like summe to the minister of the parochiall chappell of Samles- 
bury, both in the said Parish, and yet there are 5 other chappells in the same parish 
which have no meanes at all appertaineing to them. The premisses considered. Your 
petitioner humbly beseecheth your Grace to grant, and by law to settle uppon your 
petitioner and his successors for ever, such a competent and comfortable subsistence out 
of the profits of the said Rectory as may be an encouragement for able, orthodoxe, and 
godly men to accept of the Vicaridge, the parish being very large, the Towne a Market 
Towne, and the congregation very great. And that your Grace would likewise be 
pleased to grant something out of the profits of the said Rectory to the severall 
chappells therein, there being seven of them in number. And your petitioner will ever 
pray, &c. 

It was in response to these applications by Vicar and Parishioners 
that Archbishop Juxon granted, in 1662, the augmentation of ^^70 a-year 
to the Vicar's stipend out of the Rectory rents, as previously recorded. 

Particulars of the Vicarage house and glebe appear in the following 
copy of a Terrier remaining in the Registry at Chester, made in the year 
1663 :— 

There belongeth to the Vicaridge of Blackburn in Lancashire one large ancient 
house consisting of eight bays of building. There is also two Barnes, the one consisting 
of four large bays, the other consisting of four little bays. There also belongeth to 
the Vicaridge of Blackburn aforesaid certain closes of ground, some of which are in 
the possession of the Vicar yearly ; other some have ever been in the possession of 
tenants. The grounds which are in the Vicar's possession lye in two Places ; — some 
of this ground lyeth close to the Town, to witt, five Closes, one called Lower Alleys, 
containing by estimation about two acres ; another called Upper Alleys, about two 
acres ; another called Syke, about four acres and a halfe ; another called Larkehill, 
about five acres ; and another called Clay Pitts, about four acres. All these bound 
upon the easte and south upon the demesne belonging to the Rectorie, and north and 
west to divers closes belonging to the tenants of the Lord Fawlkenbridge and some 
cottage Croffts belonging to the glebe of the Rectorie. The other Grounds, which are 
yearly in the Vicar's possession, lye half a mile distant from the town, commonly 
called the Vicar's Heys, divided into five closes. Two of those called the Nearer 
Heys, both are about eight acres. The other four called the Further Heys, being in 
quantity about tenn acres. All these grounds last mentioned are bounded south, east, 
and west upon the demesne belonging to the Rectorie, and upon the north upon the 
highe Rode. There are dyvers Cottage Houses upon the Vicar's Glebe which have 
noe ground belonging to them save backsydes and gardens, for the which the Vicar 
hath a small accustomed Rent. There are also about thirty acres of Land in the 
possession of dyvers tenants, for the which the Vicar hath an accustomed rent. — Oct. 
13th, 1663, — We the Churchwardens of Blackburn whose names are subscribed doe 
deliver in this Account by the Information of Mr. Leonard Clayton, Vicar of the same. 
Thomas Lound, John Boulton, Churchwardens. 



After more than thirty years tenure of this benefice, Vicar Clayton 
died in 1677. The Will of Leonard Clayton, Vicar of Blackburn, is 
dated October 9th, 1677. Testator refers to an estate he had in Little 
Harwood, and names his wife Mary, brother Thomas, and daughters 
Elizabeth (then dead) and Katherine Warren.' Gives a sum to be 
dispensed as a twopenny dole to the poor of the parish. The Blackburn 
Burial Register records : — " Mr. Leonard Clayton, Vicker of Blackburne," 
buried October 20th, 1677. The Revd. Nicholas Peele, then Curate of 
Blackburn, preached the funeral sermon for his Vicar. 

Revd. Francis Price, M.A., was instituted to the Vicarage of Black- 
bum Dec. 5th, 1677. One of the first acts of the new Vicar was to 
raise a fund for the re-edification of the Vicarage House, which had fallen 
out of repair. The Vicarage then standing had been partially re-built 
about a century before ; for on the removal of the house built in 1679, 
in August, 1826, fragments of the older structure were found, among 
them a stone that had formed a door-lintel, inscribed with the date 
" 1579/' put 'n> rio doubt, at the time of the prior renovation. The site 
of the manse of 1679, as of the older domicile, was in the churchyard, on 
the south side of the Church. The subjoined certificate of the comple- 
tion of the new House was sent to the Bishop in 1680 : — 

New Vicarage House, 1680. — To the right reverend Father in God, John, by 
divine permission Lord Bishop of Chester, — Wee whose names are subscribed, 
Inhabitants of, and Neighbours to, the Parish of Blackburne, in the County of Lan- 
caster and Diocese of Chester, due reverence and obedience. We humbly certifye 
your Lordship that the late Vicarage House, since the institution of Francis Price, 
Master of Arts, our present Vicar there, was soe ruinous, infirme, and decayed, in the 
roofe, walls, ffloors, and other parts of it, that it was become uninhabitable, and very 
dangerous to dwell in. That in the place thereof there is now erected a very goodly, 
strong, and sufficient ffabrick of very durable stone, well built, of a capacity (as wee 
conceive) very competent to the said Vicarage, and very commodiously contrived for 
residence and keeping of house there. In witness whereof we have hereto subscribed 
our Names, this — day of , anno domini 1680. Attested by 

Jo. Warren, Esq. Ralph Livesay, Esq. Will. Yates, gentleman. 

Joh. Braddyll, Esq. Will. Bury. Edw. Warren, Esq. 

Stephen Gey, Vicar of Rich. Haworth. Alex. Nowell, Esq. 

Whalley. George Rishton. Richard Astley, Esq. 

Oswald Mosley, Esq. James Bolton, gentleman. Joseph Yates, Esq. 

Henry Walmsley, Gierke. James Haworth. John Adshead. 

Edward Osbaldeston, Esq. Edward Smaley. William Pickeringe. 

Henry Banestre, Gierke. James Crosse. 
Edward Calvert, Th. Broughton, Th. Craven, Robert Peele, Churchwardens. 
John Oddy, schoolmaster. Tho. Walmsley, Usher. 

The chief event in the vicariate of Mr. Price was the measures he 
found it requisite to take, in the years 1687-8, for preventing the detach- 

I Further notice of Vicar Clayton's family will be inserted under Little Harwood township. 



ment from the Parish Church of the Chapels-of-ease of Langho and Over 
Danven, the first of which had been appropriated by Mr. Wahnesley, 
lord of Billington manor, for use as a Roman CathoHc Chapel, and the 
second had been used by the Nonconforming inhabitants of Over 
Darwen for a place of worship, on James the Second's Declaration of 
Indulgence. The Vicar of Blackburn succeeded in recovering both the 
chapels to the Church of England, by proceedings which will be recorded 
in the history of the chapelries. Vicar Price died in 1705-6 : — "Francis 
Price, Revd. Vicar of Blackburn, departed this mortall life the 14 day 
of March, and was buried the 19 of the same month." 

The Revd. John Holme was presented to the Vicarage of Blackburn 
in 1706; instituted April 30th. Dated 1706, is an "Account of Fences 
belonging to the Vicar of Blackburn, as given to Vicar Holme, May 
1 8th, 1706, by John Isherwood, servant to the late Vicar, in the presence 
of Mr. Johnson, steward to Mrs. Fleetwood, who measured the same." 
The glebe plots named in the paper are Lower Allows, Upper Allows, 
Sike, Clay Pitts, Lower Larkhills, Upper Larkhills, Heys, Moss, and 
Linna Field. Some ten years after the appointment of Vicar Holme, in 
1706, the subjoined list of the Vicar's customary tenants in Blackburn, 
who held tenements and gardens on his glebe at nominal rentals, was 
drawn up :— 


Yearly Rent. Yearly Value. 
^ s. d. C s. d. 

Mr. John Sharpies, 2 houses, I bam, I stable, two gardens -072-800 
Mrs. Emma Yates, i house, i stable - - -020-5°° 

Matthew .Smith and Matthew Ainsworth, 2 houses, i bam -020-400 
John Edge, i house, I garden - - - -020-2 JO o 

Richard Whitehead, i house - - - -010-3 10 o 

Nicholas Holker, i house - - - - -008-360 

Mr. Robert Sharpies and Mary his wife, I house, I garden -004-100 
Hugh Shorrock, 2 houses, i bam, and I garden - -026-5 10 o 

Hen. Ward, i house bought of William Peel and another of 

Lawyer Yates, I bam and i garden 
Robert Ashton, I house and I garden 

,, ,, I house and I garden 

,, ,, I house - ' - 

,, ,, I house 

,, ,, I yarn croft - 

John Ashton, l house and I garden - 
»t ,» 1 bam . . - 

Thomas Watson, i house and 1 croft 

Jane Edge, i house and halfe of another house - -002 

Mr. Peter Edge, halfe of one house and halfe of another house 002 

o o 3 - o 10 o 
003 - o 10 o 
002 - o 10 o 
007 - o 16 o 
o o 7i - 3 10 o 

4j 44 











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■ o 





2 ■ 

■ o 



Brought forward ..... 
Mr. Peter Edge, 2 houses'and ground lying at Fura Gate 
Richard Ward, I house ..... 

„ ,, I yam croft - - - - . - 

Roger Walmsley, I house, I yarn croft 

Ralph Holme, I house and croft . . -• . 

Richard Sharpies, i house . . . - - 

Mr. James Burton, I house ..... 
Thomas Massey, I house ..... 

Jane Sagar, i house -....- 
Henry Hayhurst, i house ..... 
Grace Pollard (alias Bame), I house 6d., and 1 garden 3d. - 
ThomasAbbott, I house, ibam, and some groundatLinneygate 
Thomas Sudal, 12 acres of the last enclosed common - 
John Tomlison, i house and 5 acres of the last enclosed common 
Thomas Sharpies, 3 acres of the last enclosed common 
Mr. Randal Feilden, 2 acres of the last enclosed common 
Thomas Dale, i house 2d., and I house 6d. - 
James Wittingham, junior, I house - - . - 

Edward Osbaldeston and Henry his brother, 2 houses and garden o 
James Cunliff, i house .... 

Henry Penington, I house and I garden and a bam - 

In all - - ;,£'2 18 o ;rf64 o o 

Bishop Gastrell, when compiling his Notitia Cesiriensis, noted these 
matters, inter alia, concerning Blackburn Vicarage, about the year 1 7 1 7 : — 
The right of choosing the Parish Clerk adjudged to Alexander Osbaldeston, Esq., 
according to ancient custom, anno 1662. The Vicar names the Curates of all the 
Chappells. In Balderstone, the inhabitants pretend to pay a prescriptive rent in lieu 
of all Tyths. [The Vicar's enclosed common lands, 22 acres] are now in possession 
of 5 tenants, who pay only I2d. an acre per annum to the Vicar, which they call a 
prescriptive rent ; but 'tis said they have alwayes paid small fines at the death of every 
Vicar or tenant, and all of them paid the present Vicar fines at his coming in ; but the 
person to whom 5 acres were leased in May last, refuses to pay any fine to the Vicar, 
or to give him possession. All the dues the Vicar pretends to in Harwood, Lango, 
Law, and Samlesbury, are Surplice Fees, and a half-penny for every Communicant, 
which he allows the Curate to take. Four Wardens and four Assistants. One warden 
chosen by Ralph Livesey, Esq. ; one by Alexander Osbaldeston, Esq. ; one by John 
Warren of Dinckley, Esq. ; one by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. William 
Baldwin, Mr. Henry Feilden, and Mr. William Sudell, gentlemen [lords of Blackburn 
manor]. Families, 1800 in the whole Parish. Papists, 532, [in the Parish] 1024. 
Papist Meeting, 3 ; Dissenting Meeting, 3 Presbyterian, Dissenters, 844, Presbyterian. ' 

Vicar Holme married, December loth, 1706, Martha Greenfield of 
Witton, and had issue, sons, Thomas, bapt. October 5th, 1707 ; John, 
bapt. March 29th, 1709, buried August 9th, 1710; a second John, 
bapt. November nth, 1711 ; and Heniy, bapt. April 18th, 1722 ; and 
daughters, Martha, bapt. June 7th, 1715, married, March 2nd, 1741, 

z Notit. Cestr. (Cheth. Socy. Pub.). Ed. by Raines, v. ii, pt. ii, pp. 274-7. 


Mr. Richard Cardwell ; Jenny, bapt. April 17th, 171 7, died in 1742 
("Miss Jenny Holme of Blackburn," buried November 23rd, 1742); 
Elizabeth, bapt. May 19th, 1720; and Mary, bapt. March isth, 1723-4. 
Vicar Holme's eldest surviving son, John, was a clergyman, and resident 
in Blackburn at the date of his decease. The family tomb of this Vicar 
in Blackburn churchyard is inscribed with these names :■ — " I. H. [John 
Holme, infant son of Vicar Holme, died] 17 10. Here lyeth the body 
of Revd. John Holme, late Vicar of this Church, who died April the 29, 
1738, aged 63 years. Martha Holme [the Vicar's widow], died June 
4th, 1757. Revd. John Holme [son], of Blackburn, died i6th of Jan. 
1776, aged 65." "Henry Holme of Blackburn, gent," younger son of 
this Vicar, was buried July 15th, 1745. The burial of "the Revd. Mr. 
John Holme, Vicar of Blackburn," is registered May 5th, 1738. 

The Revd. John Potter was instituted to this Vicarage by his 
father, Thomas Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury, August 2Sth, 1738. 
While holding this benefice he buried, Nov. 8th, 1 740, an infant son John, 
and had another son John, bapt. May 5th, 1 742. Of this Vicar's personal 
history the following is a short record : — Born 1713 ; entered at Christ 
Church, Oxford, 1727, took M.A. in 1734; presented to Blackburn 
Vicarage in 1738 ; to the sinecure living of Elme-cum-Enneth in 1739 ; 
to the Deaconry of Oxford in 1741 ; later to the livings of Lydde, and 
Wrotham, in Kent, and to a prebend of Canterbury; finally, was 
made Dean of Canterbury in 1776. By marrying one of his servants, 
he so offended his father the Primate, that he left his personal fortune, 
some ^70,000, to his second son, Thomas, Recorder of Bath. Vicar 
Potter resigned Blackburn Vicarage in 1742. 

Previous Vicars having been troubled to recover possession of 
cottages upon the Glebe from occupants who asserted a right to them 
by prescription. Vicar Potter resolved to bring the question of title to an 
issue by legal means, and, in 1741, submitted a case to counsel, upon 
which the following opinion was returned : — 

Upon the state of this case there is ground to apprehend that the Houses, Gardens, 
and Lands which have all along been called the Vicar's, and for which Rents have 
been paid to the Vicars of Blackboume for the time being, belong to the Vicar as parts 
of his Glebe. And in such instances as the present Vicar can prove that fines or 
acknowledgments have been paid to his predecessors upon the change of Tenants, or 
that his predecessors have made leases or agreements with persons to hold during their 
incumbencies, or have altered the tenants and given leave to build or improve, I 
conceive the present Vicar may recover the possession-at-law in an action of trespass 
and ejectment ; but if such proof cannot be made, I apprehend the proper method is 
to exhibit one or more Bills in equity of some of the Tenants for the discovery of their 
Title, and I think it advisable to begin with such only against whom the best proof 
can be made, or who are likely to make the most material discoveries by their answers. 
And I apprehend the fines levyed in this case and a non-claim by the Vicar for five 


years will not bar him if the Lands whereof they were seased appear to be parts of the 
Glebe, and the tenants have continued to pay their rents after the fines. — Edw. 
Chetham. — August 5th, 1 74 1. 

Acting upon this advice, Mr. Potter proceeded to file declarations 
of ejectment against tenants of glebe houses. The Vicar being evidently 
in earnest, the tenants soon )rielded. In June, 1742, an Indenture was 
made between John Potter, Vicar, and James Haworth, whitesmith, by 
which the Vicar granted and let to James Haworth, a certain messuage^ 
shop, &c., in Salford, Blackburn, in consideration of a rent of ten shil- 
lings yearly. On May 20th, 1742, William Tomlinson and Henry 
Tomlinson, two of the Vicar's tenants, surrendered the cottage, bam, 
and five acres of land they occupied, as belonging of right to the Vicar, 
who upon this acknowledgment gave the same parties a lease of the 
premises. At the same time, other tenants acknowledged the Vicar's 
proprietary right in their holdings. 

John Wollin, M.A., previously Rector of Emley, Co. York, was 
instituted to Blackburn Vicarage August i6th, 1742, and held this 
benefice thirty years. By his wife Mary, he had a son John, bapt. at 
Blackburn Church, October 25th, 1749. Vicar Wollin's receipt in 1758 
for his stipend from the Rectory estate is copied below: — "Received 
22nd April, 1758, of Frederick [Cornwallis], Archbishop of Canterbury, 
by the hands of Mr. John Feilden, one of the Farmers of the Rectory 
of Blackburn, &c., the sums of ^£'13 6s. 8d. and ^^35, being the first 
moiety of the yearly augmentation of £to, allowed by the Arch- 
bishop, &c., and also the sum of ^7, the moiety of the new augmentation 
of ;^i4 given to the curates by Madame Cordelia Fleetwood, by 
covenant in a lease granted to her by Dr. W. Sancroft," &c. This 
Vicar gave before his death in 1772 a sum of ;^io, the interest to be 
expended in books for the use of the poor of this parish. 

John White, B.A., instituted August 7th, 1772, was, says Whitaker, 
" brother to the elegant historian of Selbome, and himself an excellent 
naturalist." He was the son of John White, Esq., of Selbome, Hamp- 
shire. Vicar White corresponded with his brother Gilbert on matters 
in natural history, and is named several times in the History of 
Selborne. Writing of the early appearance of swallows, Gilbert White 
states that "at Blackburn, in Lancashire, swifts were seen April the i8th," 
(1774); and when writing on the severity of the winter of 1776, 
mentions that in January of that year the thermometer " stood at nine- 
teen at Lyndon, Rutland ; at Blackburn in Lancashire, at nineteen ; 
and at Manchester, twenty-one, twenty, and eighteen." Gilbert White 
also " transcribes a ' Natural History of Gibraltar,' written by the 
Reverend John White, late Vicar of Blackburn, in Lancashire, but not 


yet published." Mr. White was at Gibraltar in 1770, shortly before his 
appointment to Blackburn, but in what capacity I am not informed. 
He died Nov. 2 ist, 1 780, and was buried in Blackburn Church, Nov. 25th. 
Thomas Starkie, M. A., presented to this benefice in r 780, was a mem- 
ber of the family of Starkie of Twiston, and eldest son of James Starkie, 
Esq. He was a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. His eldest 
son, Thomas Starkie, Esq., Q.C., married Lucy, daughter of Dr. 
T. D. Whitaker, the antiquary. In the time of Vicar Starkie, an 
important change was effected with respect to the letting of Vicarial 
Glebe Lands. Being heretofore precluded from leasing any part of the 
glebe for lengthened terms, the Vicar had been unable to make the best 
rental of the estate by parcelling it out as building sites ; and thus the 
Vicar's land, although situate centrally in the township, remained in 
pasturage. In 1796, however. Vicar Starkie obtained a special Act of 
Parliament giving power to make long leases. The value of the Vicarage 
as then returned was as follows : — 

Glebe in Mr. Starkie's hand, 5 acres, ;if 20 ; Ditto let to Rt. Pickup, 14^ acres, 
£6:i ; Ditto let to Rd. Veevers, 21 acres, £^j i6s. ; Surplice Fees and Easter Offer- 
ings, £SS > Pension from the Rectory, ;f88 13s. 4d.; a building let for a warehouse, 
£■/ 17s. 6d.; Glebe rents, £2 l8s.; Rents of Gardens, ^10; for receiving and distri- 
buting Thomley Rents, £2 ; total ^(7287 4s. icxi. ; less taxes and repairs ;^I2; net 
value ^^275 4s. lod. — The Duty so great as to require an Assistant. 

An abstract of the Vicar's Act of 1 796, by which powers were given 
to grant leases of Glebe lands, may be found useful for reference : — 

Act on Vicar's Leases, 36 Geo. III., 1796. — An Act to enable the Vicar of 
the Parish of Blackburn, Co. Lancaster, to grant Leases, with power of renewal, of 
part of the Glebe Lands, belonging to the said Vicarage. Whereas the Reverend 
Thomas Starkie, M. A. , Vicar of the Parish of Blackburn, in the Diocese of Chester, 
in right of his said Vicarage, is seized of certain Glebe Lands, containing forty acres 
and a half, customary measure of the country, part of which is very conveniently 
situated for building upon, for the use of the Inhabitants of the said Parish, and 
whereas great benefit would accrue to the Vicarage if power was given for the time 
being to grant Leases of the said Glebe Lands, for a term of years sufficient to 
encourage persons to build thereon, and to improve the same, it is enacted that 
from and after the passing of this Act, it shall be lawful for the Vicar of the Parish 
of Blackburn, &.C., for the time being, to demise or lease all or any part of the 
said Glebe Lands (except such parts thereof as are hereinafter excepted) unto 
any persons who shall be willing to build upon the same, in the manner by such leases 
respectively to be specified, &c., for any term or number of years not exceeding 999 
years ; so as in the said leases there be reserved the best and most improved ground 
rents that can be had for the benefit of the said Vicar and his successors without taking 
fine or foregift, and so as the Lessees enter into covenants to pay the rent thereby 
reserved, and to build and keep in repair the messuages and buildings intended and 
agreed to be built thereon, and to surrender the same at the expiration of the term of 
such lease, and so as in every such lease there shall be contained a power for re-entry 
for non-payment of the ground rent thereby to be reserved, and so as such leases be 



respectively approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Chester for 
the time being, before the execution thereof, and so as in every such letting there shall 
not be comprised in any one lot any greater quantity of the said glebe lands than 4,840 
square yards, being one statute acre. It is further enacted that it shall be lawful for 
the said Thomas Starkie to receive from the person to whom he shall grant building 
leases as aforesaid, any sum of money, by way of fine or foregift, not exceeding in the 
whole the sum of ;^300, and to apply the same to reimburse the said Thomas Starkie, 
&c., such sums as he shall have expended in obtaining this Act. It is further enacted 
that it shall be lawful to and for the said Thomas Starkie, and any of his successors, 
Vicars of the said Vicarage, to accept from time to time a surrender of any such lease as 
shall be made, and it shall be lawful for any Vicar to re-let any such tenements, unto 
any other person, for any term of years not exceeding the then residue of the said term 
of 999 years, and to take such fine or foregift upon the granting of which lease as shall 
be necessary for the repairing of the tenements to be surrendered or revested, so as such 
fine or foregift shall be immediately expended in repairing such tenements, and so as 
every such new lease contains the same clauses, covenants, and agreements as are 
hereinbefore directed to be inserted upon the granting of any original lease by virtue of 
this Act. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to impower the 
said Thomas Starkie or his successors. Vicars of the said Vicarage, to grant any lease 
by virtue of this Act, of the Parsonage House belonging to the said Vicarage, or of 
the gardens adjoining to the said house, or of any bams or stables now belonging to 
the said Vicarage, or of the fields called The Lower Alleys, the Further Vicar Heys, 
The Mosses, and The Linney Meadows, containing in the whole thirteen acres, three 
roods, and twenty-five perches of the customary measure there used, being twenty-five 
acres, three roods, and seventeen perches statute measure of land, or any part of them. 

Immediately upon the passing of the Act, Vicar Starkie put in opera- 
tion its provisions. A large portion of the glebe was leased in building 
plots at ground rents from id. to 2d. per yard. Among the first lessees 
were William Carr, Ralph Latus, Richard Cardwell, Christopher Hindle, 
Robert Pickup, William Holme, Richard Veevers, Thomas Hart, Jonas 
Bradley, John Smalley, William Eastham and others, and Robert 
Bannister, all of whom had their leases made out the year after the 
passing of the Act. Thirty-three building leases were issued by the 
same Vicar between the year 1797 and the year 1808. The number of 
leases now running under the Act is about 135. The appropriation of 
glebe lands as building sites has greatly increased the revenue froYn this 
anfcient endowment of the benefice. The fact that the estimate of the 
value of the living has increased from ^^275 per annum in 1796 to 
^^1,250 at present, is sufficient proof of the advantage that has accrued 
from the enfranchisement of these lands. The estate is now covered 
with houses and manufactories. The main parcel of land forming 
the Vicarial Glebe in the town of Blackburn, lies to the south of Penny- 
street and the road to Whalley, between that road and the street and 
road known as Salford and Eanam, extending eastward beyond Larkhill 
and Primrose Bank in the direction of Daisyfield ; also on the south 
side of Salford, between that street and Mount-street, near the present 


line of the railway ; with a plot, abutting on the Rectory Glebe, on the 
south side of Coppy Nook and Bottomgate. The existing streets named 
Starkie-street, Vicar-street, Syke-street (which owes its name to a syke or 
small rivulet that had its course through the midst of the Glebe), Cleaver- 
street, Moor-street, Lark-hill-street, and a number of streets in the 
vicinity of Holy Trinity Church, which also stands on Glebe land, as 
well as the streets named High-street, Mount-street, Bow-street, Hallows- 
street, &c., on the south side of Salford, occupy glebe land leased from 
the Vicar. 

On the 6th August, 1818, Vicar Starkie presided at a Vestry 
meeting, at which it was resolved to apply for an Act of Parliament 
giving power to take down and rebuild the Parish Church. The Vicar 
died a few days after, August 26th, 1818, and was buried at Downham 

Thomas Dunham Whitaker, D.D., L.L.D., F.S.A., the eminent 
antiquary and historian, succeeded Mr. Starkie as Vicar of Blackburn, to 
which he was presented November 7 th, 1818, by the then Primate, and 
which he held (with his former benefice of Whalley) until his death, a 
period of three years. The full memorials of Dr. T. D. Whitaker printed 
elsewhere render superfluous any biographical notice of this Vicar in 
the present work. It may be mentioned, however, that after his presenta- 
tion to Blackburn Vicarage, " he resided in that town the greater part of 
the year, and took his full share along with the curates in performing 
three services every Sunday, in a large Church, and to a crowded congre- 
gation." Dr. Whitaker's brief term as Vicar of this Parish was fittingly 
signalised by the commencement of the erection of a new Parish Church, 
the comer-stone of which was laid by him, September 2nd, 1820. 
Several of Vicar Whitaker's Sermons preached in the Parish Church and 
other Churches in the Parish were published. Dr. Whitaker died at the 
old Vicarage house in Blackburn Churchyard, on Tuesday, December 
i8th, 1821, aged 62 ; and was buried on the 26th December, at Holme 
Chapel, Cliviger. 

John William Whitaker, D.D., was instituted to the Vicarage, Feb. 
1 6th, 1822. His Vicariate was marked by the energetic prosecution of 
the work of Church extension in the Parish, which has been sustained 
under the two succeeding Vicars. Dr. J. W. Whitaker was an excellent 
scholar and an acute polemical writer ; and was the author of numerous 
theological and controversial treatises. He died at Blackburn, August 
23rd, 1854, aged 63. By his wife Mary Haughton, daughter of Sir 
William Feilden, of Feniscowles, Bart., Dr. Whitaker had issue six sons 
and four daughters ; the eldest daughter is the wife of R. Raynsford 
Jackson, Esq., of Blackburn. 



John Rushton, D.D., instituted to this Vicarage August 9th, 1854, 
was a son of James Rushton, yeoman, of Newchurch-in-Rossendale, 
bom at Newchurch, May 5th, 1798. He obtained the Curacy of Langho 
in this Parish, in 1822, and that of Newchurch-in-Pendle in 1825. He 
was appointed Archdeacon of Manchester in 1843, ^^^ ii 1847 ^^s 
presented to the Rectory of Prestwich. On his preferment to Black- 
bum, Dr. Rushton resigned the Archdeaconry. In the fourteen years 
of his vicariate, six new churches were provided in the parish, and to 
four new parishes Vicar Rushton granted endowments of ;!f 50 per 
annum each out of the Vicarial revenues. Dr. Rushton died February 
2 1 St, 1868, and was buried February 27th, at Walton-in-le-Dale Church. 

Edward Birch, M.A., the present Vicar, was instituted April 2nd, 
1868. He matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge, and in 1836 
was presented to the vicarage of Chorlton-on-Medlock, which he held 
until his preferment to the Vicarage of Blackburn. In 1866 he was 
appointed honorary Canon of Manchester. Canon Birch, since his 
acceptance of this benefice, has advanced greatly the educational institu- 
tions of the Mother Church of this Parish by promoting the erection of 
the new School-buildings in the Parish Churchyard. 


Adam de Blakebum 

John Hylton, 


John de Blakebum 

Edward Welche, 


Henry de Blakebum 

A.D. 1160 

John Morres, 

I 606- I 628 

Adam de Blakebum 

Adam Bolton, 

1 628- 1 646 

Roger de Blakebum 

Robert Worthington,^ 


John de Habyndon, before 


Leonard Clayton, - 


William de Lenche, 


Francis Price, 


Adam de Walboncke, 


John Holme, - 


John de Gristwayth, 

1 333- 1 362 

John Potter, - - - 


John de Lyndelay, - 


John WoUin, - 


William de Wetherby, - 


John White, - 


Geoffrey Banastre, 


Thomas Starkie, 


Robert Salley, 


Thomas Dunham Whitaker, 


Henry Salley, 


John William Whitaker, - 


Ralph Lynney, 


John Rushton, 


James Hargreaves, - 


Edward Birch, 


1 Robert Worthington officiated as Vicar a short time (not longer than two months), between the 
death of Vicar Bolton and the appointment of Vicar Clayton, as I find by a note kindly extracted by 
Mr. J. E. Bailey from the records of the Plundered Ministers' Committee (Bodl. MSS. 324, p. 241), 
dated March 20th. 1646-7 ; the minute runs : — " Whereas the Vicarage of the P'ishe Church of Black, 
bume in the County of Lancaster is void by the death of Adam Bolton the late incumbent, and the 
same is in the gift of the Archb'opp of Cant., it is therefore ordered that Robt. Worthington, a godly 
and orthodox divine, doe forthwith officiate the cure of the said church as Vicar, and preach dili- 
gently," &c. 


















The statements published respecting successive re-edifications of the 
Parish Church of Blackburn are conjectural and traditional ; at least, 
the present writer is not aware of the existence of any documentary , 
records indicating precisely the date and circumstances of restorations 
carried out in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Saxon 
church-structure found standing at the Domesday Survey may not have 
been the original building, for the foundation was even then to be 
reckoned by centuries, and the rude erections of wood that exhausted 
the architectural skill of the primitive church builders in this part of the 
kingdom could not have withstood long without sign of decay the in- 
fluences of a humid climate like that of Lancashire. It is likely that 
Blackburn Church would be rebuilt or restored by one of the De Lacys 
after the conveyance of the church to that Norman baronial house in 
the twelfth century, and previous to its transfer to the religious fraternity 
under the patronage of De Lacys. Two more centuries of time had 
reduced the Norman fane to a state of dilapidation, when, about the reign 
of Edward the Third (1327-77), the first Gothic structure was reared. 
Some of the materials of the older church were used in the erection, and 
blocks of carved stone after Norman patterns, which could not be placed 
visibly in the new Church of that date, were buried in the foundations ; 
these fragments were brought to light on the digging out of the founda- 
tions in 1820 ; they included portions of arcuated stones with dog-tooth 
ornaments, the remains of a doorway, and sculptured Norman capitals. 

The Church of Edward the Third's time had in its turn become 
impaired with age, perhaps also by neglect, in the reign of Henry VIII., 
when by the overturn of the Monastery to which it was attached it passed 
under new authority; and shortly after that change, about the 
year 1540, the upper portion of the church walls and the roof were 
extensively renovated. The nave and chancel were covered with hand- 
some roofs of timber, with transverse beams and panelled compartments ; 
and the tracery and moulded heads of some of the windows were 
replaced. With these new features, the main structure of the former 
church was retained, and lasted until the final demolition of the ancient 
fabric and the erection of the present Church upon another site in the 
churchyard. The general character of the old Church as it was left after 
the alterations of 1540 will better be understood by reference to the 
drawing of it engraved for this work than by any verbal description. 
This perspective view of the edifice, taken from the south-east angle of 
the churchyard, exhibits the components of an early Lancashire Church, 
as seen with variations in the oldest examples yet extant. A rather 


short nave, with small circular-headed clerestory lights in couplets ; 
low-walled aisles, with roofs sloping up to the line of the clerestory 
window-sills ; gabled porch at the west end of the south aisle, with 
pointed-arched doorway ; chancel of equal length with the nave, having 
also a clerestory, and an elaborately traceried east window of four lights ; 
gothic crosses at the eastern apexes of nave and chancel roofs ; at the west 
end, the strong embattled square tower of three storeys, surmounted 
by a stunted spire ; flanking the chancel the two mortuary chapels of the 
Osbaldestons (on the north side) and of the Walmesleys (on the south 
side), the latter \vith embattled roof-line ; tower, aisles, chapels, and 
chancel walls supported by deep graduated buttresses. The interior of 
the Church was diversified by few enrichments beyond the carved bosses 
of the Tudor roof and an interesting east window of painted glass in 
heraldic devices ; the nave was divided from the aisles by pointed 
arches resting upon cylindrical pillars with moulded capitals. Eight old 
oak stalls, with grotesque carvings under the hinged seats, said to have 
come from the dismantled Conventual Church at Whalley, were placed 
in the choir, four on each side, as seats for the wardens ; these 
stalls are retained in the fittings of the modern church. The eleva- 
tion of the Church was disproportionately low to its length and breadth. 
Beneath the floor, the ground was filled with the graves of the principal 
inhabitants, who for many generations had claimed right of burial within 
the area of the Church. It was at length found necessary to restrict 
these interments inside the fabric, and a rule was made at a meeting of 
the Vestry held on August 12th, 1789, "that no corpse shall be interred 
in future within the Church unless the friends of the deceased do pay, 
over and above the common dues to the Vicar, Clerk, and Sexton, 
Three Guineas, to be laid out in the repairs and improvement of the 
Church ;" and " if the interment is made in that space which extends 
from the East Windpw to the centre Arch, the above sum of three 
guineas is to be paid to the Lessees of the Rectory, in consideration of 
their supporting the roof over that respective part ;" the regulation is 
" not to extend to the two Chapels at the East end of the Church."^ The 
site of the old Church was but a few paces in the rear of the houses on 
the south side of Church-street. 


The earliest of the chantry services attached to the Church of 
Blackburn was founded by the provision of John de Blackburn, son of 
Henry, who by Charter in Norman-French, given at Blackburn, A.D. 1 32 1, 
for the salvation of his soul and of the souls of his father and mother, 

I There is a minute of this decision in the Church Register. 


his ancestors and heirs, granted to God and to the Church of St. Marie of 
Blackburn (leglise seint Marie de Blakeburn) an annual rent of four livres 
to be paid yearly for ever at the Feast of St. Martin to the wardens of 
the Church, to sustain two torches lighted at the high altar of that 
Church. The deed of grant to remain in charge of the Vicar of Black- 
bum and his successors. This Chantry had probably fallen into abeyance 
after the lapse of more than 200 years, for it is not noticed in the returns 
of the Chantry Commissioners of Henry VIII. that preceded the suppres- 
sion of Chantry Priests by statutory enactment. 

In the year 1453, Geoffrey Banastre, then Vicar of Blackburn, 
founded a Chantry in this Church, and endowed it with the annual rent 
of jQ\ 13s. 4d., secured by the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate 
Church of St. Mary, of Leicester, on the rectorial tithes of Preston, in 
Lancashire, in consideration of two hundred marks having been paid to 
them by Mr. Geoffrey Banastre or by his executors. The record of the 
Valor of 1534 names this Chantry as in the hands of William Rishton, 
Chaplain, worth yearly in rents of lands and tenements 66s. 8d. In the 
report of the Chantry Commission, A.D. 1546, "The Chantrye at the 
High Altar within the Paroche Churche of Blakbome," is found served 
by " Willyam Usherwoode, preiste, incumbent there of the foundation of 
Galfrede Banastre, somtyme Vicar of the same Churche, to celebrate at 
the high altar there for the sowles of his founders. The same is within 
the Paroche Churche of Blakbome, and the saide preist doth celebrate 
there accordinge to the statute of his foundation." The endowments of 
the same are thus certified : — " The same Incumbent receiveth yearly for 
his salary, at two terms in the year, an annual rent of £,/^ 13s. 4d., 
going forth of the parsonage of Preston, which parsonage was given to 
the same Chantry by Richard Androwe and his brethren, he then being 
Dean of the New College of Leicester, for the sum of two hundred 
marks to them paid, as appeareth by their grant to the said Chantry, 
dated in the Chapter House under their common seal, the 26th day of 
February, in the year of our Lord God 1453, due at the Feasts of Saint 
Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of our Lady equally— ;^4 
13s. 4d. — Sum total of the rental ^^4 13s. 4d. Reprises none."^ In 
1 548, William Risheton, aged 53, is retumed as Chantry Priest, and the 
houseling people of the parish were 2,000. At the suppression of Chan- 
tries William Risheton, priest here, was pensioned, and in 1553 was 
living on his pension of jQt^ 6s. 8d. 

A Chantry, dedicated to the B. V. Mary, was founded by Thomas, 
second Earl of Derby, and the inhabitants of Blackbum, in the year 

I History of Chantries of Lancashire, Edited by Canon Raines for Chetbam Society, v. i, 
pp. 152-3. 



1 5 14. The foundation deed is dated at Lathom, April 6th, 5th Henry 
VIII. The following is a summary of the charter : — 

The purpose of the founder was the maintenance of a Chantry Priest in the 
Chapel of the Blessed Virgin on the south side of the Parish Church of Blackburn ; 
and while the parishioners purchased certain freehold and copyhold lands in this 
county and in the county of York, the Earl of Derby gave in trust to John Yorke, 
George Cowbume, Raufe Waddyntone, Raufe Critchlawe, Henry Feilden, William 
Ysherwood, Xpofer Bolton, and Richard Hawkeshaye the estate of Eggye-heye, in 
Brunley, of the yearly value of iSs., to the use of the said Chantry as endowment. 
The said Earl within twenty days was to make " Sir Edward Bolton Chantry Brest 
of the said Chantre ;" after his decease or resignation the said Earl and his heirs for 
ever should name "another able secular Prest, that is expert, and can sing both pricke 
song and plane songe, and hath a sight in Descant, if such can be gotten, which shall 
teach a fre Song Scol in Blackbume aforesaid, and also shall kepe the quere in the said 
Parish Church, every holy-day through the yere, at the time of al devine service kept 
there. " Also it is agreed by the said parties ' ' that at all such tyme as it shall happen 
all the fefes of the said lands and tenements afor apointed for the sustentation and 
mayntaining of the said Chantri, except four, or three at the least, to decease, that 
then every of the said Chantri Prests then and there being, shall make deligent labour 
to cause other 12 of the most honest men of the said parish to be named by the said 
Church reves ther for the tyme being yf they can agree thereupon, to be fefes of the 
premesses." The Priest of the said Chantry was not to take any other care or charge, 
but should he say any trentals, or pray otherwise than according to the present founda- 
tion, one half of the profit of the same should go towards the reparation or making of 
ornaments for the said Chantry. The priest was to pray by vowe for the souls of 
Thomas, Earl of Derby, late deceased, of my Lady his wife, and George Stanley, Lord 
Strange, of my Lady Jane, his wife, and for their children's souls, and for the pros- 
perous estate of the then Earl of Derby and of my Lady of Derby his wife, and for 
their issue and posterity for ever ; and for the welfare of all the parishioners of Black- 
hum, and of all who had been benefactors, helpers, and contributors to the purchasing 
of lands, jewels, or ornaments for the said Chantry, quick or dead, and for all Christian 
souls. The said Chantry priest, every Sunday and holiday in the year, after offering 
mass, should turn to the people and exhort them to pray for all the said persons and 
for their souls, and say the Psalm of De profundis, with a Pater Noster and an Ave 
Marie, with special suffrage after, and Funeral Collect for the quick and dead, either 
by themselves. The Priest also to sing or say mass of our Lady, to note every holiday 
and every Saturday, and the priest and his scholars and others who may be gotten, 
four times in the year for ever to sing a solemn dirge for the souls aforesaid, and also 
on the morrow next after such dirge song the priest to sing a mass of requiem with 
note, and on every Wednesday and Friday to say mass of Jesus, or of the five wounds 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the said Chantry Chapel ; and on all other days of the 
week to say mass as he conveniently may. The priest to sing or say masses in the 
same chapel about eight o'clock in the morning in summer-time, i.e., from Easter to 
Michaelmas, and in the winter-time about ten o'clock in the forenoon. A penalty of 
4d. to be paid to the churchwardens out of the lands for every default or negligence of 
duty, without sufficient and lawful excuse. 

In the Va/or of 1534, it was found concerning this Chantry that it 
was in the hands of Thomas Burgess, chaplain, and worth in rents and 


farms of lands and tenements 66s. 8d. per annum. The King's commis- 
sion appointed 37tli Henry VIII. (1546) to ascertain the origin and 
value of the Chantries returned the subjoined account of this Chantry : — 
The Chauntrie at the Alter of our Lady within the said P'och- 
Church [of Blackburn] : — Thomas Burges, preist, incumbent ther of the founda- 
con of the ancestors of the Erie of Derbie, to celebrate ther for their sowles, and to 
maneteyne the one side of the quere [choir] to the uttermost of his power everie holie 
day, and also the incumbent herof to be sufFicientlie lerned in gramer and plane songe 
to kepe a ffre skole contynuallie in Blakburne biforesaide. The same is at the alter 
of our Lady within the said paroch church, and the said incumbent doth celebrate and 
manetene the quere every holie day accordinglie, and also doth teache gramer and 
plane songe in the said ffre skole accordinge to the statutes of his ffoundacon. 

The Endowments are thus returned by the Commissioners : — 

Willyam Smithson holdyth one tenemente with the appurtenances, lienge in 
Slathbome, in the countie of York, by yere 13s. 4d. ; and Alice Parkinson holdyth 
one tenemente there, 34s. ; in all by yere, 47s. 4d. Robert Smith holdyth one tene- 
mente with the appurtenances in Bumeley, in the countie of Lancastre, rentinge 
yerlie, &c., 14s. Nycholas Dogeson holdyth one tenemente with the appurtenances 
lienge in Padiham, in the said countie, rentinge yerlie, 19s. Thomas Whitehalghe 
and John Sudley holden one tenemente with the appurtenances lienge in Oughe Boughe 
in the said countie, rentinge, &c., 17s. Richarde Haddoke and his fellowes holden 
one tenemente with the appurtenances lienge in Leveshey, in the said countie, rentinge, 
&c., 13s. 4d. Suma totall of the rentall iios. 8d., whereof payd to our sovereigne 
Lorde, for a rent goinge furth of the landes by yere 2s. , and so remanyth io8s. 8d.' 

The Chantry was soon afterwards dissolved with the rest ; its 
chaplain, Thomas Burgess, aged 58, receiving a life pension ; and in 
consideration that a free school had been taught by the Chantry Priest, 
in obedience to the terms of the foundation, a pension of ;£4 7s. 4d. in 
lieu of the Chantry lands escheated to the Crown was charged on the 
revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster, payable to the Schoolmaster at 
Blackburn. The Chapel of our Lady, on the south side of the choir of 
Blackburn Church, in which the Chantry-priest officiated, had existed, 
it would seem, before the foundation of the Chantry in 15 14, and was 
held to have pertained anciently to the Rishtons, being a branch of the 
ancient Rectorial family of De Blackburn, and was claimed as the 
appanage of the lordship of Rishton by the Talbots of Holt after the 
suppression of the Chantry; and later by the Walmesleys of Dunkenhalgh, 
as purchasers of the Rishton estate, against John Talbot of Salesbury, 
who asserted a claim to the Chapel. The dispute took the form of a 
reference to the Bishop of Chester in 16 11, whose award was the division 
of the Chapel between the contesting houses, the Talbots taking the 
north half, and the Walmesleys the south half of the Chapel. The Chapel 
was repaired subsequently to this decision as to ownership. 

The Chapel on the north side of Blackburn Church does not prove 

I Raines' Lancash. Chantries, v. i, pp. 154-6. 

39 • 


to have been endowed as a chantry for the family of Osbaldeston to 
which it from early time belonged ; but was used as a private oratory and 
mortuary chapel. The Wills of several members in succession of this 
house appoint their sepulture in their chapel within Blackburn Church, 
and here were several monuments of Osbaldestons, to be noted on 
another page along with other monuments formerly fixed in the Church. 
With this chapel was enjoyed by the same family the right of nominating 
the Parish Clerk and one churchwarden. The last lineal member of the 
Osbaldestons, in 1747, by Will granted to Thomas Clayton of Little 
Harwood, Esq., his " chappells, seats, pews, burying-ground, and all his 
right in Blackburn Church." Pennant noticed in the chapel a century 
ago much miscellaneous painted glass collected by one of the Osbaldes- 
tons, including four pieces of great beauty. Our Saviour, St. James the 
Greater and Less, and St. Matthew. The east window of this chapel 
was a traceried one of three lights. 


The last service was held in the old Parish Church on Sunday, 
November loth, 1819, and the Church was demolished in the course of 
the year following ;' its replacement by a new edifice having become 
imperative both on account of its dilapidation and of its inadequacy for 
the reception of the congregation of the Mother Church. A special 
Act of Parliament, passed June 14th, 1819, empowered a body of trus- 
tees* to raze the old fabric and to obtain a sum of ;^i 5,000 by a general 
parish rate to defray the cost of a new Church. The corner-stone of the 
new Church was laid by Vicar T. D. Whitaker, September 2nd, 1820. 
Mr. John Palmer was appointed architect. The building had made 
some progress by 1823, when the sum realized by the first special Church 
rate being expended, a further rate was levied. A second Act of Parlia- 
ment had to be obtained in 1824, giving the trustees power to raise an 
additional ^^i 8,000 by means of a rate. The consecration of the 
Church by the Bishop of Chester took place September 13th, 1826. The 
cost of the fabric was ;^25,979 iis. gd. ; organ ;£'85o; expenses of Acts 
of Parliament ^1,279; and the incidental expenditure in diverting 
the river for extension of the church-yard, in purchasing lands and in 
compensation for the grammar school, was upwards of ;^io,ooo. A 

I The old Tower was left standing until the year 1870. 
2 The trustees were: — Hon. Robt. Curzon, John Bailey, Thomas Ainsworth, Richard Cardwell 
the elder, Richard Cardwell the younger, clerk, Abraham Chew, John Cunliffe, Robert Chadwick, 
Wilham Carr, Thomas Carr, Robt. Dewhurst, John Emett, Thomas Edmundson, Joseph Feilden, 
William Feilden, John Fleming, James Greenway the younger, Thomas Glover, James Glover, John 
Hornby, John Fowden Hindle, John Hargreaves, John Harper, Christopher Hindle, William Maude, 
James Nevill, George Petre, William Pickering, Proctor Ratcliffe, Dixon Robinson, Le Gendre 
Starkie, Henry Sudell, James Taylor, William Townley, Thomas Turner, William Turner, William 



third rate was levied in 1827 to obtain the cost of lighting and warming 
the church. On January 6th, 1831, during morning service, the roof of 
the church took fire through some defect in the flue, and was entirely 
destroyed, and other damage was done, repaired at a cost of ^2,500. 

The present Parish Church is a large and handsome edifice, of the 
14th century gothic in style; the plan consists of nave, chancel, north 
and south aisles, western tower and porches, and north and south vestries 
at the east end. The lateral aspect of the exterior presents aisles about 
1 10 feet in length, upheld by graduated buttresses with pinnacles heading 
each buttress, between which are six large windows of three lights, tran- 
somed, with heads of elegant tracery, the alternate design of which is 
borrowed from Roslyn Chapel ; the clerestory has twelve lights on each 
side, placed in couplets, trefoil-headed ; the east end exhibits the entrance to 
the vaults, beneath a large east window of five lights, elaborately traceried ; 
above this, a circular window filled with tracery ; pinnacles rise from the 
angle-buttresses of nave and aisles. At the west end, a very bold tower of 
three storeys rises in the centre, and is flanked by porches with recessed 
pointed arches. An effective feature of the tower front is the lofty recessed 
arch which encloses the principal doorway and a traceried window above 
it. Upon corbels in the west front are sculptured the royal arms in 
duplicate, with those of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of 
Chester ; and on the porches are the anns of the two vicars (T. D. 
Whitaker and J. W. Whitaker) during whose vicariate the Church was 
rebuilt. In the interior the nave arches, six in number, are sustained 
by cylindrical columns surrounded by four semi-cylindrical shafts ; these 
noble columns, with one or two exceptions, are monoliths. The bases 
and capitals are plainly-moulded. The chancel is a continuation of 
the nave, and is recessed by a series of nine arches, resting upon lofty 
cylindrical columns, in close succession, and contracted eastward to the 
east window, which is a fine painted window of five lights, filling the 
space above the altar screen. The roofs of nave and aisles are 
groined, with rich bosses floriated or faced with heraldic shields 
displaying the arms of numerous native families. The organ loft and 
gallery for the choir occupy the west end of the nave above the central 
entrance, and rest upon pointed arches arranged in semi-octagonal form. 
Side galleries are erected the entire length of the aisles, supported by 
slender iron pillars behind the nave columns. During the last summer 
(1875), the church-interior has been wholly renovated and re-benched; 
and a new organ, — one of the finest Church organs in the county, — 
has been presented to the Church by William Coddington, Esq., the 
cost of which was ;!^2,5oo. The last measurement gives 1,450 sittings, 
of which 700 are free. 


The internal dimensions are : — length of nave, 103 feet ; chancel, 
II feet; breadth of nave, 28 feet; aisles, 19 feet each; tower, 15 feet 
square; height of nave, 46 feet; aisles, 29 feet. The height of the 
tower to the square is 86 feet ; to the top of the pinnacles, 112 feet. 

Blackburn Church had anciently a peal of six bells, inscribed 
thus : — First bell : " Vivos voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango ;" second 
bell : "Laudo Deum, plebem voco, congrego clerum ; defunctos ploro, pestem 
fugo,festa decoro ;" third bell : ^^Funera plango, fulgura frango, Sabbata 
pango ;" fourth bell: "Excito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos ;" fifth 
bell: "Nbmen Jesu Christe ; fu attetidas et defendas ;" sixth bell: "7>. 
laudamus et rogamus ; nos a morte tristi." In 1690, the bells had been 
reduced to five; and in 1737 the old peal of five bells were recast and 
six new bells founded by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester. The tenor bell, 
being cracked, was recast in 1747. The six bells are now ranged as 
follows : — r, weight 6 cwt. ; motto, "When you do ring we will sweetly 
sing ;" 2, 6 cwt. 3 qrs. ; " Peace and good neighbourhood ;" 3, 8 cwt. 
3 qrs. 4 lbs. ; " May the Church of England for ever flourish ;" 4, 8 cwt. 
3 qrs. 4 lbs. ; " We are all cast at Gloucester, by Abel Rudhall ;" 5, 
10 cwt. 2 qrs. II lbs.; "The Rev. John Holme, Vicar;" 6, 14 cwt. 
3 qrs. 13 lbs. ; " Thomas Martin, John Cross, Henry Drewitt, Robert 
Whitacre, churchwardens, 1747." The bells remained in the old tower 
until 1832, when they were hung in the new tower; and in 1851 four 
new bells were added, making a good peal of ten bells. The founders 
of three of the new bells were Messrs. Mears, of London. These three 
bells weigh 4 cwt. 1 7 lbs., 4 cwt. i qr. 1 7 lbs., and 5 cwt. i qr. 1 1 lbs. 
respectively. The fourth is a memorial bell, presented by the Hopwood 
family, whose name it bears, with the inscription, "John Turner 
Hopwood, Esq., Barrister-at-law, Rockcliffe House, Blackburn, March 
2nd, 1849." The weight of this bell is 5 cwt. 3 qrs. i lb. 

It is ground for complaint by all who value the preservation in situ 
of ancient sepulchral memorials of deceased citizens, that on the removal 
of old churches such monuments attached to the walls are often destroyed 
or disappear, or are tossed into vaults and lofts as worthless refuse, and 
can no more be found by the interested searcher. This is what happened 
on the demolition of the old Parish Church fabric of Blackburn. Of 
numerous mural tablets formerly found within the walls of this Church 
few are now visible or to be heard of I can only therefore note such 
as received mention by visitants to the former Church at various dates, 
and two or three that have been brought out of their hiding-place under 


the Church stair as a result of my own inquiries. I am unable to indi- 
cate the present whereabouts of any that have fallen into private hands. 
One of the oldest monumental inscriptions in the Church was that 
copied in the Dodsworth MSS., and stated to have been in the window 
of Sir John Talbot's Chapel (i.e. the south Chapel in which the Chantry 
Priest endowed by the Earl of Derby chanted his daily prayers). The 
inscription ran : — 

A.D. 1521. Pray for ye prosperous Estate of ye Rt. Hon. Thomas Erie of 
Derby, Viscount Kynton, Lord Strange, Lord of Knokyn. 

In the same Chapel was erected at a later date the costly monument 
of Sir Thomas Walmesley of Dunkenhalgh, the Judge of Common Pleas, 
who had made out his claim to a share in this Chapel shortly before his 
death in 161 2. This stately monument, which must have filled a good 
portion of the Chapel-area, consisted of a statue in alabaster lying on a 
sarcophagus beneath a recessed arch, with an inscribed tablet behind, 
and an heraldic shield in an upper compartment. The obituary inscrip- 
tion and a poetic epitaph will be given in my sketch of the Walmesley 
family. The monument was broken to fragments within thirty years of 
its erection, during the Civil War of 1642-51, by the Parliamentarian 
garrison or the inhabitants of Blackburn, as a proof of their enmity to 
the Walmesleys, who were doubly obnoxious as both Royalist and 
Roman Catholic. A small remnant of the monument, consisting of the 
arms of Walmesley impaled with those of Shuttleworth of Hacking, 
surmounted by the knightly helm and crest of the judge, is now fixed in 
the wall of the south vestry of the present Parish Church. 

In the Osbaldeston Chapel at the east end of the north aisle were 
memorial tablets and windows to several members of the family owning 
that Chapel. Elena Osbaldeston, second wife of Sir Alexander, by her 
Will, dated 1560, directed that three stones with inscriptions on brass 
should be fixed in her Chapel in Blackburn Church, over the remains of 
herself, her husband, and her brother Sir Thomas Tyldesley ; and doubt- 
less this was done as ordered ; but no trace or record of these brasses 
survives. Other tablets in the Chapel, inscribed to later members of the 
family, and the two painted windows of the Chapel, were observed by 
Pennant^ in 1773 : — 

Against the walls are two brasses ; one with the bald head of an old man with a 
great beard, his body armed; inscribed: — "Here lyeth the body of Sir Edward 
Osbaldiston, a charitable, courteous, and valiant Knight, qui obiit A.D. 1636, £et 63." 
The epitaph is concise, but contains a character replete with all the requisites of 
chivalry in its period of utmost purity. The other brass is in memory of another 
Osbaldiston [Edward, son of Alexander], which acquaints us with nothing further than 
that he died in 1689, aged 38. 

I Tour from Downing lo Alston Moor, pp. 66-7. 



A local chronicler finds that a gravestone placed in 1521 near the 
altar of Blackburn Church had upon it the sentiment : — " Our Fathers 
find their graves in our shorte memories ; and sadly tell us howe we 
shall be buryed in our survivors. Lett me be found in the regystre of 
heaven, not in the recorde of man. A.D. MDXXI. Dom. J. Catherall."^ 

Baines gives the inscription from another monumental tablet placed 
in the wall of the south aisle of the old Church of Blackburn, as 
follows : — 

Before thou doe thy worke begine 
Then of God crave pardon for thy sin : 
And then thy worke shall prosper soe 
As want shall never breed thee woe. 
.) (. 1614 I. M. 

George Ryley.'' 

To an infant son of Vicar Potter is inscribed a small square tablet of 
white marble : — 

lo. Potter Natus Mortuus Sepultus Nov. 1740. 

I also note an oval white marble tablet to the last direct representa- 
tive of the Astley family, inscribed : — 

To the memory of the Revd. George Astley, who departed this life the 7th of 
July, 1777, aged 43, this Monument is erected. 

Broken into four or five fragments I find the tablet to Vicar White, 
a large oblong square, of white marble, inscribed : — 

Under the Communion Table is interred the Revd. John White, B.A., Vicar of 
this Parish, who departed this life Nov. 21st, 1780, aged 53 years. He was a sincere 
Christian and conscientious pastor, an affectionate husband and good parent, a kind 
and faithful friend, an ingenious and accurate naturalist. 

A brass affixed to wood, lying also amongst lumber, is inscribed : — 

Sacred to the Memory of Mr. George Cape, Merchant and Drysalter, Old Swan 
Stairs, London, who died at this place, June 2nd, 1789, in the 38th year of his age. 

In the Burial Register of the Church, " George Cape, a rider from 
London," is entered as buried June 4th, 1789. 

Several Memorial Windows are placed in the present Church. The 
vaulted tombs in the churchyard on the site of the old Church, include 
those of Walmesley and Petre of Dunkenhaigh ; Feilden of Witton ; 
Hindle of Blackburn ; Sudell of Blackburn ; Peel of Blackburn ; Birley 
of Blackburn ; Chippendall, Livesey, Lancaster, Yates, Forrest, &c. 

The old Communion Plate of the Church was inscribed : — "Ex 
doTw TTiom. Smith, i6jo," and "Ex dono Edwardi et Roberti Bolton, dat 
Ecclesice Blackborne, A.D. i6jj."^ 

I Whittle's Blackburn as it Is, p. 62. 2 Hist, of Lane, New £dn., v. ii. p. 66. 

3 The " Statement of Facts relative to the taking down and rebuilding of the Parish Church of 
Blackburn," printed in 1837, by Thomas Rogerson, Market Place (an ample and useful compilation of 



The Parish Registers begin connectedly about A.D. 1600, but I find 
a few detached entries as far back as 1568. The first Register Book, on 
parchment, has been seriously tampered with at some period, and the 
leaves containing the entries between 1568 and 1600 may have been 
destroyed during the Civil War of 1642-51, when the Registers exhibit 
another gap between the years 1637 and 1651. The first volume is 
bound in calf, about an inch in thickness. The entries are in English 
from 1608, when James Hodgkinson became Parish Clerk. On the 
resumption of the record in 1651 it is inscribed: — "Leonard Clayton, 
Pastor. Here followeth a perfect Register of all Names of those who 
have been baptized att our Parish Church of Blackburn, from the 20th 
of Aprill, 165 1." Onward from this date the entries are continuous 
until the present time. The second volume opens with this certificate 
of the appointment of Parish Clerk in 1653 :• — 

Richard Morres of Blackburn in Co. Lane, gent., being chosen by the inhabitants 
and householders of the Parish of Blackburn to be their Parish Registr. , came beffore 
US this 22th of September, 1653, and was by us approved on to bee the said Registr. 
for the said Parish, to have the keepinge of this Booke, and was by us approved on 
and swome accordinge to the Acte of Parliameii t of the 24th of August last in that 
case made and provided. Ric: Shuttleworthe. 

John Starkie. 

The civil marriages during the Commonwealth were usually 
performed in presence of Randal Sharpies, Esq., a local Justice devoted 
to the party then in power. After the Restoration the old form of 
registration of marriages is reverted to. The Parish Clerk was then 

88 pages) mentions that the following relics of the old Church were preserved in the present struc- 
ture : — " In the north vestry, several monumental tablets not yet re-erected ; in the south vestry, the 
arms of Walmesley, impaling Shuttleworth of Hacking, part of the monument of Judge Walmesley, 
formerly in the Dunkenhalgh Chapel ; in the window of the same vestry are fragments of painted 
glass bearing the figures of the Blessed Virgin, and a Saint in the monastic habit of the Cistercians, 
probably intended for St. Bernard the founder of that order, which was the one established at Whalley 
Abbey; also, on glass of inferior antiquity and beauty, several busts of the Apostles; four herald - 
badges, viz., the White Rose of York, the portcullis of the House of Tudor, the Peacock, and the 
couchant Stag : and a full-length portrait of the celebrated Erasmus. Some fragments of painted glass 
from the old church are also preserved in the windows of Hhe clerestory and side-aisles ; that in the 
east window is modern, and was furnished by subscription. The stalls, at present occupied by the 
churchwardens, were also part of the furniture of the ancient church, and exhibit in the grotesque 
carvings on the under parts of the seats or misereres decided indications of a date anterior to the 
Reformation. One of these contains a rude representation of the temptation of Eve, and the ejectment 
of our first parents from Paradise ; three bear emblems usually attributed to the Evangelists, viz., the 
Angel of St. Matthew, the winged Lion of St. Mark, and the winged Bull of Sl Luke ; two others 
represent a Fox in a pulpit edifying a congregation of Geese, and a Huntsman with his huge horn 
encouraging the hounds in pursuit of a family of apes, one of which has fallen into their clutches, 
while the parent is endeavouring to escape with a young one at her back. The rest are of foliage " 
(pp. 26-7). The Vicarage-house in the church-yard being taken down, the present house in King-street 
was secured for the Vicars' residence. 


appointed by the Osbaldestons ; and I find these entries of such 
appointments : — 

John Bolton began as Parish Clerk of Blackburn, 9th July, 1676, presented by 
Edward Osbaldeston, Esq. , and approved by Leo. Clayton, Clerk and Vicar there. 

Adam Rabye began the office of Parish Clerk, April 5th, 1683, presented by 
Edward Osbaldeston of Osbaldeston, Esq. 

Thomas Nevil elected Clerk of Parish of Blackburn 28th May, 1708. 

The Parish Registers are now kept in a strong room lately built 
between the north vestry and the chancel. Previously they had been in 
a wooden cabinet in the Vestry, and had suffered from the damp. 

The appointment of Sexton was claimed by the same parties 
who put in by prescription the Parish Clerk, but the claim has been 
disputed by several vicars. An affidavit made in 1781 states that in 
1734 one John Nevill was appointed Sexton on the de5,th of Robert 
Lathom, former Sexton ; but the Vicar, Revd. John Holme, appointed 
John Hindle to be Sexton. A week after, Mr. Feilden and Mr. 
Ainsworth sent for John Osbaldeston (then living) to a public-house in 
Blackburn, and desired him to bring John Nevill to them at that house. 
They told Nevill they had appointed him Sexton, and desired John 
Osbaldeston to go to John Hindle for the key, or, if he refused, to send 
a constable. John Hindle thereupon gave up the key to John 
Osbaldeston, who delivered it to Mr. Feilden and Mr. Ainsworth, and 
they to their nominee John Nevill, who afterwards kept it and the office 
of Sexton until his death in March, 1781. 


It has been shewn that the original Free School in Blackburn was 
founded and endowed in conjunction with the Chantry of the B. V. Mary 
in Blackburn Church, endowed by Thomas, Earl of Derby, in the year 
1 5 14. The Chantry being suppressed, Edward VI. soon after (A.D. 
1 551), granted in trust for the use of the Chantry Priest, Thomas 
Burgess, for the term of his life, in lieu of the rents of certain chantry 
lands, a sum equal to the ancient endowment of ^£4 7s. 4d., out of the 
revenues of the Duchy, the said priest being required to continue the 
duties of school-master of th^ said school. The school was thus nomi- 
nally perpetuated, but inadequately sustained; and in A.D. 1567, upon a 
petition from the inhabitants, Queen Elizabeth granted a Charter for 
the new foundation of a Free Grammar School in Blackburn, of which a 
translation' is subjoined : — 

Elizabeth, by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland Queen, Defender 
of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. Know 
ye that we, upon the humble Petition, as well of the Inhabitants of the vill and Parish 
1 This translation was made by Mr. John Clough, of Blackburn. 


of Blackburn, in our County of Lancaster, as of very many others, our subjects of the 
whole country in the neighbourhood thereof, to us, for a Grammar School to be there 
erected and established, for the institution and instruction of boys and young persons, 
of our special grace, and our certain knowledge and mere motion, we will, grant, and 
for us, our heirs and successors, ordain, that henceforth there be and shall be one 
Grammar School in the said vill of Blackburn, which shall be called the Free Grammar 
School of Queen Elizabeth, for the education, institution, and instruction of boys and 
young persons in grammar, to be and remain for ever ; and we do by these presents 
erect, create, ordain, and found that school to continue for ever, of one master, or 
pedagogue, and one sub-pedagogue or under-master. And that this our aforesaid 
intent may take the better effect, and that the lands, tenements, rents, revenues, and 
other issues to be granted, assigned, and appointed for the support of the aforesaid 
school, may be better governed for the continuance of the same, we will and ordain 
that henceforth for ever there be and shall be in the vill and Parish of Blackburn afore- 
said, fifty men of the more discreet and honest of the Inhabitants or Freeholders of the 
aforesaid vill and Parish for the time being, who shall be and shall be called Governors, 
of the possessions, fevenues, and goods of the said Free School, commonly called and 
to be called the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, in the county 
of Lancaster. And therefore know ye that we have assigned, chosen, named, and 
appointed, and by these presents do assign, choose, name, and appoint, our beloved 
Gilbert Gerrard, Esq., our Attorney-General ; also our beloved Sir Thomas Langton, 
Knight; Sir John Southworth, Knight; Sir Thomas Hesketh, Knight; Sir William 
Ratcliffe, Knight; John Osbaldiston, Esq.; Henry Talbot, Esq.; John Talbot, Esq.; 
Robert Barton, Esq. ; William Farrington, Esq. ; Ralph Rissheton, Esq. ; John Braddell, 
Esq. ; John Hylton, clerk. Vicar of Blackburn aforesaid ; also Richard Livesaye, 
gentleman; Lawrence Ainsworth, gentleman; George Astley, gentleman; Robert 
Morley, gentleman; William Clayton, gentleman; Robert Astley, gentleman; Thomas 
Walmysley, gentleman ; Alexander Osbaldeston, gentleman ; John Isherwoode, James 
Whithalgh, James Garstange, Thomas Holden, Evan Holden, Robert Bolton, Richard 
Cunlyff, Thomas Gillibrand, Thurstan Maudesley, William Dewhurst, William 
Barker, Christopher Mersden, Robert Warde, Robert Waddington, Richard Page, 
William Page, John Cowbume, Henry Mersden, John Linnols, Richard Ducksburye, 
Roger Gillibrand, Richard Heyworth, Thomas Whitehalgh, George Assheton, John 
Hodgeson, Alexander Bolton, Richard Edleston, Adam Bolton, and Randal Feilden, 
Inhabitants and Freeholders of the said vill and Parish of Blackburn, to be and remain 
first and new Governors of the possessions, revenues and goods of the Free Grammar 
School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, &c., the same office well and truly to exer- 
cise and occupy, from the date of these presents, during their lives, and the lives of the 
longer livers of them. And that the same governors in deed, in fact and in name be 
and shall be henceforth one body corporate and politic of themselves for ever, by the 
name of the Governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the Free 
Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, incorporated and erected. And 
by these presents we incorporate these governors of the possessions, revenues, and 
goods of the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn. And we really 
and fully create, erect, ordain, make, and by these presents appoint, a body corporate 
and politic to continue for ever by the same name. And we will and by these presents 
do ordain and grant that the said Governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of 
the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, have perpetual succession, 
and by the same name be and shall be persons able and in law capable to acquire, 
receive, and take and hold demesnes, manors, lands, tenements, rents, reversions, 



tithes, possessions, revenues, hereditaments whatever, or of what kind, nature, or sort 
soever they shall be, to themselves and their successors in fee and perpetuity ; and 
likewise to give, grant, let and assign the same lands, tenements, and hereditaments, 
and all and singular other acts and deeds to do and execute by the name aforesaid. 
And that by the name of the Governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the 
Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, they have power and be able 
to plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in 
whatsoever courts, places, and steads, and before whatsoever judges and justices, and 
other persons, and any officers, in all and singular actions, suits, complaints, causes, 
matters, and demands whatsoever, and of whatsoever kind, nature, and sort they may 
be, by the same manner and form as other our lieges of this our kingdom of England, 
persons fit and in law capable, have power and are able to plead and be impleaded, 
answer and be answered, defend and be defended, and have, acquire, receive, possess, 
• give, grant, and let. And that the aforesaid governors and their successors, henceforth 
for ever have a common Seal, that shall serve for the transacting of whatever causes 
and businesses of their own, and of their successors. And moreover we grant, ordain, 
and by these presents decree, that whensoever it shall happen that one or more of the 
said fifty Governors for the time being shall die, that then and so often it shall be lawful 
for the said other Governors surviving, or the major part of the same at that time 
residing and living in the said vill and parish of Blackburn, to elect and nominate 
another fit person, or other fit persons, of the Inhabitants or Freeholders of the vill 
and Parish of Blackburn aforesaid, into the places of him or them so dying, to succeed 
in the said office of Governor, and this so often as the case shall happen. And iurther- 
more, of our further grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, we have given and 
granted, and by these presents do give and grant, to the aforesaid new Governors and 
their successors, and to the major part of the same, full power and authority of naming 
and appointing a Master and Under Master of the said School, so often as the same 
shall be void of a master or under master ; and that the same Governors for the time 
being from time to time make, and have power and authority to make, fit and whole- 
some Statutes and Ordinances in writing, concerning and touching the preservation 
and disposition of the rents and revenues appointed for the support of the said School, 
which statutes and orders so to be made, we will, and grant, and by these presents 
command inviolably to be observed from time to time for ever. And furthermore 
know ye, that in consideration that the said Governors of the said Free Grammar 
School of Queen Elizabeth in Blackburn, in the county of Lancaster, and their succes- 
sors, may the better sustain and support the charge of the same school, and of the 
master and under-master thereof, from time to time, of our special grace, certain know- 
ledge and mere motion, we have given and granted, and by these presents do give and 
grant unto the aforesaid new Governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the 
said Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, in Blackburn aforesaid, and their 
successors, special and free license and lawful faculty, power, and authority of having, 
receiving, and acquiring, to them and their successors for ever, as well of us, our heirs 
and successors, as of any other person or persons whatsoever, whatever manors, 
messuages, tenements, rectories, tithes, or other hereditaments whatsoever, within the 
kingdom of England or in any other place within our dominions, which are not held of 
us immediately in chief, provided that they do not exceed the clear annual value of 
Thirty Pounds, to the aforesaid Governors and their successors as above related, as 
being granted by us in form aforesaid, the statute of lands and tenements in Mortmain, 
or any other statute, act, ordinance, or provision, &c., notwithstanding. And we will 
and by these presents do grant to the aforesaid new Governors that they have and 


shall have these our letters patent under our Great Seal of England duly executed and 
sealed, without fine or fee, great or small, to be yielded, paid, or made to us in our 
I lanaper Court, or in any other place, in any wise for our use ; so far, at least, as 
ex])ress mention is made of the true yearly value or of any other value or certitude of 
the premises, or any part thereof, or of any other gifts or grants made by us in these 
presents, or by any of our progenitors, to the aforesaid new Governors of the posses- 
sions, revenues, and goods of the said Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, in 
Blackburn aforesaid, and their predecessors before these times, any other statute, act, 
ordinance, provision, proclamation or restriction, made, published, ordained, or 
provided, &c., to the contrary notwithstanding. In witness whereof we have caused 
these our letters to be made patent. Witness Our Seal at Gorhambury, the Eighth 
day of August, in the Ninth year of our reign. By Writ under Privy Seal, and of the 
date aforesaid, by authority of Parliament. (Signed) Buggyn. 

Eighteen years after the date of this Charter, a cause was pleaded in 
the Duchy Court for recovery of the copyhold lands originally granted for 
the endowment of the Chantry and Free School, which had been appro- 
priated by the Crown. This cause was heard in the Michaelmas term, 
27th and 28th Elizabeth (1585). The plaintiffs were Richard Livesey 
and others (the Governors of the School), Inhabitants of Blackburn, and 
the defendants were Richard Goodshaw and Nicholas Halsted ; the 
matter in contest being the right and interest in certain messuages and 
lands, lying in Burnley, Padiham, and Blackburn, in Lancashire, and in 
Slaidbum, in Yorkshire, being copyhold of the manors of Ightenhill and 
Slaidburn. An indenture was produced, dated 5th Henry VIII., as well 
as a Decree of the Duchy Court, of the 2nd Elizabeth (1560), to the 
effect that "the said premises were given principally for the maintenance 
of a chantry priest, to sing and say mass, and other superstitious services 
in the Chapel of Our Lady, in the Church of Blackburn, which chantry 
priest should teach a Grammar School and a Song School." It was 
shown further that " by virtue of a commission granted by Edward VI., 
in the fourth year of his reign, after the statute made for the dissolution 
of the Chantries, to the stewards of the said manors, the said lands and 
tenements had been devised by copy of court roll, to certain persons 
and their heirs, to the use of Thomas Burgess, late chantry priest of 
the said Chantry, for his life, and afterwards to their own use, and that 
those persons had paid certain sums of money for the said premises, 
and that the defendants and the copyholders of the said premises, or 
their ancestors, had likewise paid sums of money for the same to the 
first purchasers, and that the title of the said copyholders had been by 
the said decree of the 2nd Elizabeth confirmed and allowed." The 
following record of the pleas and answer in this cause is found in the 
" Burleigh Papers " {Lansdowne MS. 46), in the British Museum 
Library : — 

[Endorsed] 10 Feb. 1585-6. The case touching the Free Schole of Blackbume 


in Lancashire, with the objections answered. — The Quene's Ma'stie hathe incorporated 
a ffree Grammer Schole in Blackbume in Lancaster, called the Free Grammer Schole 
of Quene Elizabethe in Blackburne, and that they may purchase landes not exceedinge 
a certaine valew. Before this corp'acon ther was a Scole t